Saturday, February 28, 2009 [ sunstar.com.ph ]
SIPALAY City, an internationally acclaimed tourist spot, is mulling on opening its port to a ferry system and operating an airstrip in a bid to improve transportation going to the city and boost tourism in the area.
Sipalay City Mayor Soledad Montilla said the city aims to ensure a sustainable tourism industry by putting in place plans to make it accessible by air and sea to local and foreign tourists.
City officials are now coordinating with the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and the neighboring islands to realize the plan.
"As a support to tourism, we have now taken steps to have our Campomanes Eco pier to be included in with the port system of the PPA," she said.
Talks are also ongoing with neighboring places like Puerto Princesa and Antique for the opening of a ferry service connecting to the locality in coordination with Maritime authorities.
Furthermore, "we have explored the possibility of operating an old mining airstrip to boost tourist arrival in the city," Montilla added.
More plans are being put up to maximize the potential of the beach, scuba and leisure paradise that captured the fancy of more than 27,386 foreign and local tourists last year.
Montilla revealed that tourism has always been the lifeblood of the city since 2,000 when it embarked on a tourism program that led them to where they are right now.
"A lot more work is still to be done yet the important factor is we have already laid down the foundation for a tourism development framework that is economically viable and environmentally sound."