A Palawan legislator has issued a challenge to the tourism sector players of the province to find ways to address the tourism off-season and further boost the industry.

During the launch of the Palawan Tourism Travel Fair 2023 at Robinson’s Place Palawan on Saturday, June 17, Board Member Roseller Pineda said that it is time for Palawan to open new tourism activities to convince more visitors to come.

He also expressed gratitude to the Palawan Tourism Council (TPC) for initiating the travel fair, which he believes will pave the way for more tourism activities in the province.

“We always say, and we know that Palawan is a renowned tourist destination known for its breathtaking landscapes and seascapes, offering a unique adventure, cultural, and nature experience. That’s what we consistently offer to our visitors–immersion in white beaches and crystal-clear blue waters,” Pineda said.

He said the travel fair’s theme “Experience a Renewed Palawan: Celebrating People, Festival, Places, Food and Culture” embodies the idea that aside from beaches, Palawan has a lot more attractions to offer to visitors.

“We are thankful to the provincial government, and to our partner, the PTC. With that theme, you have something to offer aside from beaches,” he said.

Pineda also underscored the effects of beach tourism saying it is only attracting tourists especially the foreigners during winter season.

“Sabi nga natin, bakit nga ba may off season ang Palawan, (considering) that we are a tropical place? Dapat wala kasi wala naman tayong winter. Being a tropical place, this means we only cater to almost 80 percent foreign tourists. During wintertime they will come but will go home on spring and summer time and that’s it,” he stated.

He further stated that during the off-season, which lasts for three to four months a year, he wonders how tourism establishments recover their losses during the peak season, especially considering their ongoing tax and other financial obligations.

Referring back to the theme of the travel fair, he expressed that the province has a wide array of food offerings and suggested that it is time to host a culinary festival and other related activities.

“We have culture, sports tourism among others so there are still a lot that we can say that our tourism is indeed a remade Palawan,” he said.

The board member also mentioned that he had come up with an idea to address the off-season by introducing a legislation that would enable the government or even the private sector to offer travel incentives to top-performing employees.

“If we can implement this in Palawan, gradually, with the intervention of the Department of Tourism, we may be able to advocate or appeal to the government to extend this program nationwide and provide travel incentives to outstanding workers,” he stated.

Meanwhile, PTC President Rey Felix Rafols expressed confidence that Palawan’s tourism industry will continue to recover and return to its pre-pandemic state, emphasizing that there are more positive developments to come.

He also expressed gratitude to the provincial government for its support of the tourism industry.

“For all that we’ve been through, I am so glad that we are here right now, resilient, looking forward and embracing. There’s so much hope and there’s a lot of good news to look forward to in the coming years for Palawan tourism,” Rafols said.

“We know that tourism is a big part of what’s happening in Palawan, and we are advocating not just tourism in itself, but sustainable tourism and that’s why we always celebrate and remind people to not just enjoy the places, the beaches but also do responsible travelling and tourism,” he added.

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