DOT-Mimaropa to focus on tourism in rural Palawan

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, PalawanThe Department of Tourism (DOT) regional office will be focusing on the development of potential natural leisure sites in rural areas in Palawan that have yet to be exposed to the mainstream of the country's tourism industry.

Newly-installed DOT-Mimaropa Regional Director Maria Luisa Diploma, in a press statement Thursday, said their goal is to help other municipalities with untapped tourism potentials.

We plan to give more attention to rural areas. Those that are not yet so well-known. There are other spots like these municipalities that I met now, they need help with regards to developing their tourism destinations and access roads. So, that's where we want to focus our attentionfor small towns to also benefit from tourism, she said.

Diploma, who visited Puerto Princesa on February 26 to meet with local government and tourism officials, and various stakeholders, said her regional tourism leadership is looking forward to developing more tourism sites in the municipalities.

I was really looking forward to this because I'm just one month in my job as regional director and I needed something to start with. It was very fortunate that I was able to visit and meet with all the people, especially the tourism officers, mayors and also from the private sectors, Diploma added.

Getting comments, even negative reactions will be helpful to the DOT-Mimaropa's goal to help Palawan bring more economic development through tourism, she said.

I have talked to some municipalities and they were telling me that it is so difficult to identify a tourism destination. They want to focus on other things rather than tourism because they think they are poor economically and they could not afford to invest or develop tourism destinations, she added.

She said she needed to tell them to change their mindset as tourism is one way of generating jobs, of bringing in more economic activities.

Let us change our orientation and look at tourism as a means of uplifting the lives of people in the community, Diploma said, adding that tourism depends on the creative thinking of local government officials and how they market their tourism destinations.

Source: Philippine News Agency

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