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THE Department of Tourism (DOT) in Bicol has announced the reopening of the whale watching and interaction tourist activities in Donsol, Sorsogon as the city eases into Alert Level 2.
According to DOT Regional Director Herbie Aguas, hotels and facilities are ready to once again welcome tourists after a two-year slump due to the pandemic.
“All the resort owners lahat pong mga connected dun, pati yung mga official agencies are ready. Kumbaga two years is enough for the preparations for this reopening,” he said.
The town's “butanding” or whale shark interaction project is a collaborative undertaking between the LGU, the Department of Tourism (DOT), and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines as a joint commitment for a sustainable and balanced eco-tourism program.
Sorsogon Gov. Francis Escudero said the reopening of the tourism sites would help the industry and community, particularly its workers to bounce back from the slump.
In 2019, the Butanding Festival generated a total of P448 million in gross revenue while the total tourist arrivals that year reached 13,000.
Aguas estimates over P10 billion in revenue were lost in the last two years.
"It will take two to three years for the industry to gradually recover and for the government to pour in fiscal stimulus to assist in the recovery plan," Aguas said.
Additionally, the following are now open for tours:
●Hibiscus Trekker’s Camp in Tigaon town,
●Inarihan Farm Resort in Naga City,
●LRV-Agri Science Far in Calabanga,
●MikeLiz Integrated Farm also in Calabanga,
●Sonrisa Farm in Magarao,
●AO Techno Science Park @ OADP at the Central Bicol State University of Agriculture in Pili
●Aguas Farm in Sto. Domingo,
●Albay Farmer’s Bounty Village,
●Elmiro De Shei Integrated Farm,
●Solong Eco Park and Tours,
●Villa Miranda Farm and Resorts in Libon
●Balay Buhay sa Uma Bee Farm in Bulusan
●Barcelona Agrihope Tourism Farm in Barcelona
●Casa Eduardo Agri-farm Resort in Claveria,
●Uma Koinonia in Masbate City
●JSMS Organic Farm and Agribusiness in Jose Panganiban
Escudero also hinted to open the Bulusan Natural Park soon after.
Tags: #tourism, #sorsogon, #butanding, #whaleshark, #travel, #bicol