File photo by Celeste Anna Formoso

An inter-regional tourism circuit in the MIMAROPA (Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan) administrative region and some parts of the Bicol and Calabarzon regions is in the works as part of the government’s recovery plan for the battered travel and tourism industry, the Department of Tourism (DOT) bared Friday.

In the initial discussions among the regional offices of DOT, the identified provinces were Marinduque, Quezon, Laguna, and Albay.

No timeline has been provided yet but the agency said the “Center of FUN Tourism Circuit” would focus on farm, food, and faith tourism products.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat revealed the plan during her two-day visit to Marinduque, where she met with local leaders and stakeholders to prepare the province for its reopening for leisure travel.

Aside from farm and food tourism, the DOT is also developing a tourism circuit for diving and marine sports on the island.

“As the results of our most recent travel survey have confirmed, the needs and expectations of tourists have evolved because of the pandemic. To address this, the DOT has been redeveloping tourism products and seeking out new experiences for travelers to enjoy in the new normal,” Puyat said.

In October 2020, an exploratory dive assessment was conducted in Marinduque’s Tres Reyes Island, a popular dive spot where the wreckage of sunken Chinese merchant vessels can be found.

It was part of DOT efforts to pursue dive tourism as one of its priority products identified in the Regional Tourism Development Plan.

Since last year, the DOT has been finding ways to support the sector and restart tourism safely amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

The travel circuit, which involves destinations that have low or no cases of the Covid-19 disease, is among the proposals. (PNA)

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