Photo courtesy of Judith Distal

Tourism secretary Bernadette Puyat and undersecretary Art Boncato on Wednesday visited various establishments in El Nido town as the Department of Tourism (DOT) continues its bid to implement sustainable tourism programs in the province.

Puyat and Boncato, along with mayor Edna Lim and business tycoon Zobel de Ayala, launched the “Save our Spots” project in Lio Beach to promote sustainable tourism practices within the community.

Photo courtesy of Judith Distal

In a statement issued on October 23, DOT said the two popular tourist destinations (Coron and El Nido) in the province were deemed “requiring investments in environmentally sustainable urban facilities and marine environment protection in anticipation of higher numbers of tourists visiting the islands over the next decade.”

“Palawan is known as the country’s ‘last ecological frontier’ and we want to ensure its rich marine ecosystem, particularly in El Nido and Coron, will be protected amid the rapid growth in tourist demand,” Puyat said.

Photo courtesy of Judith Distal

Earlier this year, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) committed to helping DOT “build the capacity of local stakeholders to protect and conserve healthy oceans and rehabilitate key biodiversity-based tourism sites.”

“This project is critically important for ADB because we share with the Philippine government the goal of seeing local economies thrive on an environmentally sustainable path. Tourism, when managed properly, can be a catalyst for inclusive development that can lift residents of El Nido and Coron out of poverty,” ADB country director Kelly Bird said.

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is a desk editor and senior reporter of Palawan News. He covers politics, environment, tourism, justice, and sports. In his free time, he enjoys long walks with his dog, Bayani.