Is our Tourism program for
the whole country?
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
Does the right hand of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines know what its left hand is doing as far as its tourism promotion program is concerned?
The question came up after the recent decision of the Immigration Commissioner denying the request of Bacolod City for facilities to enable nine charted flights from Korea to land at the Bacolod-Silay Airport this month and next month.
The groups from Korea are described to be tourists who are interested in seeing the potentials of Bacolod and Negros Occidental as far as tourism is concerned, and specifically to avail of, and see what their offerings are as far as the sport of golf is concerned.
It is a known fact that the golf courses of Bacolod and Negros Occidental have attracted several tournaments and groups as well as individual players who come from other countries seeking those where they can avail of good courses where playing does not cost them as much as those in other countries, even in Asia.
The coming of the Koreans to this city and province could be a major opening for other groups, not only from that country, but possibly from several others who may learn about their experience here, and will be enticed to also come and see for themselves what this area has to offer its visitors.
We have a Tourism Department a slogan that says: “It’s More Fun in the Philippines”. Of course it does not say that it will be fun only in Philippine areas blessed by the Immigration Commission. Aren’t we trying to promote the whole of our country in this program?
Or does the Immigration Commission have its own particular choices for places where visitors can have fun?
The Immigration Commissioner is reportedly suggesting that the Korean groups be diverted to Iloilo instead, which will cost them much more. But the Bacolod-Silay and the Iloilo airports are said to be of similar category. It is only that Iloilo has been provided with immigration services and equipment. There is reason in the request of Bacolod for the loan of some of those personnel and equipment for these particular arrivals which could be a test case for our area.
The question now is: How serious is this administration in promoting tourism in the countrysides?*