Apart from its reputation as the country’s “Silicon Valley” due to the large-scale manufacturing industries, tourism has been, for decades, one of Laguna province’s most lucrative economic sector.
With the province blessed with beautiful natural wonders such as Mount Makiling and Pagsanjan Falls, as well as its connection to the country’s rich history and culture, Laguna province is a vital magnet to those seeking adventure and thrills.
However, according to stakeholders, the first two years of the Covid-19 pandemic period reshaped the public’s mindset without tourism.
After two years of being cooped up within the confines of their houses due to restrictions brought by the pandemic, “revenge travel” is fast becoming the norm.
Travelers, according to tourism agents and operators, are now seeking for “rich and meaningful” experiences or completing their bucket lists — and the goal of many tourists nowadays is not just simply visit tourist sites but also immerse themselves into the culture and experience new adventures or thrills.
There’s also a need, as some local tourism officers in the province have pointed out, to diversify our tourism sector.
Travelers would surely want to see more of our province than the usual (or, as we can candidly put it, oversold) tourist destinations such as Pagsanjan Falls or the family house of Dr. Jose Rizal.
These are where local government units could greatly help by identifying the unique characteristics of their town or city that can serve as tourism magnets.
One such prominent program is that of Biñan City, which embarked on a project to revive its rich cultural and historical heritage including the rehabilitation of its downtown area.
Local leaders in Biñan City said the program has started to pay dividends, attracting both local and foreign tourists that, in turn, generated much-needed revenue for small businesses that had also been impacted by the pandemic.
With almost all businesses and economic activities returning to near pre-pandemic levels, there’s a big opportunity for Laguna province to regain the opportunities and revenues its tourism industry it had lost at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The responsibility to ensure that they can maximize the resources and talents at their disposal to boost local economies through sustainable tourism is now in the hands of LGUs.