During a recent session of the Negros Occidental Provincial Board, former Negros Occidental third district Rep. Alfredo Benitez, who currently served as Negros Occidental consultant for investment and economic enterprise, presented a development plan for the province. He emphasized, while the province is agriculture-based, it would be sensible to focus on tourism. The former legislator explained, with the agriculture sectors constantly experiencing fluctuations, there are still tourist attractions in the province that have yet to be properly tapped.
Benitez said it is imperative for those who own tourism properties, tour guides, operators, organizers, among other sectors of the industry to band together and work in unison. He called on property owners to become “one muscle industry” and said the lack of shared ideas is “most unhealthy for tourism promotion development.”
He also discussed the role of government as a supportive arm that can promote tourism program but the private sector would be the primary driver. Such is the case with the anticipated Magikland amusement park in Silay City, where the city is providing roads to the destination, along with security. The Ruins in Talisay City also received a boost from the Department of Tourism-Region VI, which financed a tourism road for the attraction.
Following the former congressman presentation, I hope to see Negros Occidental head in a sensible and productive direction with active involvement by those in the tourism sector.
For me, I have been exposed to the tourism sector for over three decades. I have exchanged pleasantries and worked alongside those in the industry. I have also received invitations from the tourism boards of countries like Japan, Singapore, and Cambodia; cities such as Bangkok, Kuala Lumper, Phuket; along with the US territory of Guam.
It is through my experience that I can share such knowledge about other countries and cultures.
This column greets Laarni Aguilar, Ernie Hilado, Jack Matti, Johnny Yap, Tony Agustin, TIntin Mansinares, Marlin Sanogal, Bobby Tee, Dodong Bascon, Arturo Colmedora, Richard Oquendo, Ptr. Emilio Henares, Renato Novero, Raymond Dabao, and Ver Pacete/WDJ