The Provincial Tourism Development and Promotions Office (PTDPO) is looking into developing more community-based tourism sites (CBSTs) and strengthening existing ones as a way to revive the local tourism industry.
Maribel Buñi said in a webinar held Wednesday that local tourism sites, especially CBSTs, are resilient enough to rise above the various closures brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have been much affected by travel restrictions and closure of borders. But as resilient as we are, surely we will find ways, and community-based tourism is one of the strategies we are looking at,” she said.
Buñi added that CBSTs are vital to contributing to the province’s local economy and that Palawan should take advantage of its existing resources.
“Community-based tourism is not new. It is probably is one of the oldest ways to manage tourism. While in some municipalities, community-based tourism has been identified as a mechanism to improve the local economy,” she said.
“Often, residents invite visitors enabling them to earn income. In a destination like Palawan, which is bestowed with many natural resources, and unique and rich culture, it is about time we take advantage of this richness, as we reopen to tourism,” she added
Invited speakers discussed the basics of creating CBSTs from scratch, and existing tourism CBSTs were taught how to further develop their existing managed sites, stressing on preparing for the eventual re-opening of the province’s tourism industry. Municipal tourism officers from Palawan towns and leaders of local CBSTs were in attendance.
Palawan has yet to reopen all its ports of entry to tourists, especially in Puerto Princesa City where the international airport is located. Tourist towns El Nido and Coron have been gearing towards reopening their local industries under strict guidelines by their local government units and by the Department of Tourism (DOT).