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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, May 20, 2013
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‘Neg. Occ. has great
tourism potential’

BY ADRIAN NEMES III

Negros Occidental has great potentials for drive and farm tourism that could attract both national and international tourists, former Department of Tourism Secretary Guillermina Gabor, said yesterday.

Gabor, now the president of the Automobile Association of Philippine Travel, was in the province with about 70 other members for the three-day Fly-Drive Caravan that started Friday.

Gabor said that during their tour of the Ruins and the Natures Village Resort in Talisay City, the old houses and the Hawaiian – Philippines Co. steam locomotive rides in Silay City, the Negros Showroom, the Museo Negrense de La Salle, the Bacolod Government Center, the Rafa Valley in Don Salvador Benedicto town, and the Mambukal Resort in Murcia town, they realized that the province has a lot to offer.

With wide and well-paved roads, she said, Negros Occidental will indeed become one of the country’s centers of drive tourism, a self-drive but also service-provided travel between one to multiple destinations and stopover locations.

The Fly-Drive Caravan organized by AAP, DOT and Caltex, centered on the theme: A Food Expedition, a Walk through Heritage Sites and a Farm Tourism Experience and is aimed at providing an educational summer vacation to all tour participants by tasting the province’s local cuisine, by learning the art of organic farming and by discovering its rich history.

“Everywhere we’ve been is a veritable museum which is an inspiration, not only for people but for exporters as well. We were looking at old designs and pieces you have which can be recreated for today’s use”, Gabor said.

“Bacolod and Negros Occidental have a lot of good things to offer, you can stay here for a long time and not run out of things to do as there are many activities here, may it be on land, air or sea”, she added.

To further boost the drive-tourism concept in Negros Occidental, AAP is eyeing the establishment of a local chapter in the province to encourage Negrense to join their group.

Aside from drive tourism, Negros Occidental is also a potential hub for farm tourism, Gabor said.

Negros Occidental is a pioneer in the promotion of organic farming in the Philippines and this industry is now starting to move fast against non-organic produce, she said.*APN

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