BY JENNYLIND CORDERO
Tourism opened up again across the globe recently, and Zurab Pololikashvili, World Tourism Organization secretary general, stressed this is no time for complacency as we have to transition towards a more resilient and sustainable future.
The suspension of travel by land, air and sea and so many restrictions imposed across the globe led to a 44 percent decrease in international arrivals, especially in small island development states which is equal to 7.5 million tourist arrivals from January to April 2020. Asia in April had a 98 percent drop and it was practically the same in the Philippines.
The national government acknowledged that tourism was the hardest hit by the pandemic, and to be able to bring the fun back in local travels, we have to have one policy to boost tourism and ensure everyone’s well being.
As we slowly and carefully open up resorts and hotels, Tourism Promotions Board chief operations officer Maria Anthonette Velasco-Allones said there are about 11 sectors in the tourism industry where a set of regulations and safety precautionary measures are prepared for travelers, tourism workers, and industry key players to follow. We open up and manage carefully with safety and responsibility by prioritizing health while taking into consideration jobs and economic recovery.
There are 77 accommodation facilities with probationary Certificate of Authority to Operate issued by the Department of Tourism, 26 of which are in Bacolod and 51 in the towns and cities of Negros Occidental.
As we bounce back to recover, we encourage you to travel locally and rediscover Negros Occidental.
The main attractions of the province are its people and places, from the mountains to the seas, with majestic Mount Kanlaon, waterfalls, and the hot sulfur pool of Mambukal Resort. Crystal clear waters and beautiful sunset in Hinobaan, Sipalay and Cauayan. Danjugan Island in the south, Suyac and Sipaway Island in the north, with Jomabo and Lakawon Islands waiting to be discovered.
Travelling around the province is not at all expensive, one can hop from one town to the other on a bus, stay in hotels or resorts, food is affordable and one can stay longer to appreciate nature at its best.
Shop for hablon weaved by the women in the community in the south, souvenirs by the people of Negros through the Association of Negros Producers. Protect the environment and learn sustainable agri-tourism and take pride in the people’s resiliency and love for nature, support our farmers and buy local.
Walk around the Paris of Negros or hop on a tri-city tour and get to know stories of sugar and more in Bago, Talisay and Silay.
Gastronomic tour of pastries, seafood and the best delicacies up north and down south, each town and city has a story to tell about the best recipes from their kitchen.
Shoot a film in picturesque attractions, like The Ruins, Hda. Rosalia in Manapla and other heritage houses, recreational parks like Magikland, Campuestohan Highland Resort, and other destinations around town or better yet, drive towards the mountain to the summer capital of Negros – Salvador Benedicto. View the Choco Hills at San Carlos, Patag in Silay, or at the foot of Mount Kanlaon in the town of La Castellana.
Negros is a paradise for the young and adventurous, where one can have fun under the sun and still be connected to the world.*