By Paulo Loreto Lim
Negros Occidental Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, while discussing plans on expanding the tourism industry in the province, insisted the province is safe.
Amid the ongoing conflict in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, brought about by the Islamic State-backed Maute group, alongside recent incidents in the province perpetrated by the New People’s Army (NPA) and a reported rise in petty crimes, the vice governor said officials are currently looking into promoting tourism as an alternate industry to sugar.
“We have to assure our visitors of the peace and order situation in the province,” he said.
Lacson cited reports that put Negros Occidental as the second most visited destination for local tourists.
“We should analyze how we got here and how [to] move further,” he explained.
The vice governor then called on local government units (LGUs) to name a major destination in their locality.
Meanwhile, in regards to the number of accommodations for tourists, he said LGUs have a responsibility of attracting local and foreign companies to invest in their jurisdictions.
Earlier, it was announced the Department of Tourism (DOT) would be conducting an accommodation capacity survey in Region 6 next month, in an effort to provide business, policy makers, and investors with information regarding room capacity, facility availability, and employment potential in the accommodation sector./PLL, WDJ