Photo from Puerto Princesa Tourism FB page.

The city government has retrained its focus on developing the local tourism industry, with around 60 percent of its efforts now geared toward it.

City Tourism Officer Demetrio C. Alvior, Jr. pointed this out from the message uttered by Mayor Lucilo R. Bayron during the lighting of the giant community Christmas tree at the Balayong People’s Park last Thursday.

Alvior also said earlier that with its current pace, the tourism industry is going to fully recover faster than expected.

While he said that there is no scheduled major event as the year comes to a close, big events are already lined-up for the year 2023.

“Marami kasing plano si mayor na mag-engage sa sports tourism, kaya nga inaayos ang baywalk para kahit gabi pwede magkaroon ng activities, one of which is yung dragon boat race,” Alvior said

“And marami pa rin tayong iniisip na pwedeng gawin kasi nga ang pinaka-objective natin is i-increase yung number of stay ng mga turista from three nights, at least maging five nights,” he explained.

He added that one of the featured attractions that will be installed at the Balayong People’s Park is the screaming eagle zipline, which he said is already a done deal.

“Nakausap na namin ang supplier; naka-meeting natin sa Cebu. Hindi nga lang mahabol ngayong December kasi ang mga materyales ay galing pa sa abroad pero may pondo na, may supplier na, at may gagawa na nyan,” he said.

He further explained that the zipline ride will be offered for free, provided that the rider must scream and reach a certain level of loudness.

“Kailangan sumigaw para kapag umabot sa decibel, may phase yan na mababa hindi kagaya sa iba pero kung ma-reach mo ang decibel limit natin ay free ka na, depende sa lakas ng sigaw mo,” he said.

Ironman impact
Alvior also said that the recently held Ironman 70.3 Puerto Princesa had a strong positive impact on the city’s economy, particularly in the tourism sector.

He said that the data they gathered from 30 hotels and inns showed revenues of P15 million from November 8–14, excluding other smaller accommodations.

“We also discovered that some visitors came just to watch the Ironman,” he said, adding that after the event, some participants and other guests stayed for up to four days to tour.

“And the biggest impact for the city here is the promotion which is immeasurable kasi international yung promotion so yun yung isa sa mga very positive impact sa atin ng Ironman. Hindi man natin maramdaman yung immediate impact pero in the long run, nalalagay tayo sa mapa. Yun ang isang long term investment,” he added.

Minor issues
Alvior also explained that while there were some minor issues during the race, they had a minimal effect and are understandable.

“May ilang lubak sa kalsada, sa swimming hindi rin talaga 100 percent nalinis dahil may mga debris pa rin na napunta doon sa swim area na hindi maiwasan,” he said.

“Alam naman natin na hindi tayo perfect pero let’s just look at the brighter side. At dahil nga first time, part na rin ng learnings yun,” he said. (with a report from Genn Magdayao)

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