Batangas sees 20% growth in tourist arrivals this year

By Saul Pa-a

May 18, 2018, 9:06 pm

BATANGAS CITY – Tourist arrivals in Batangas province are seen to reach 10.35 million this year, up 20 percent from 8.62 million last year, according to the Batangas Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office (PTCAO).

Lawyer Sylvia Marasigan, PTCAO department head, said Friday that they have assessed the activities and accomplishments of the tourism sector of the province during the first quarter this year and are gearing up to intensify tourism activities this year.

This, after the PTCAO has plotted their annual average growth rate of visitor arrivals by both foreign and local tourists in four years from 2015 figures with 4,637,698 and in 2016 with 9,186,000.

Marasigan said that their past activities and engagements included participation in the Department of Tourism Branding Workshop for Calabarzon in Iloilo City; showcase of Batangas products in significant events like festivals; Batangas tourism destinations and Batangueño talents at the 85th PVMA Scientific Conference and Annual Convention in Pasay City.

Other activities that were undertaken last year included the Underwater Photo Exhibit with Batangas Scuba Academy; Media Farmtour at the Taal Lake dubbed “Lakbay Lawa”; “Ating Likha Alay sa Bauan” (ALAB) Art Exhibit; El Pasubat Festival Float Parade among faith-based and religious tourism, festivals and cultural tourism activities.

Marasigan also disclosed the event project proposal for the “Barako Hour” which will offer free and unlimited refill of the cup of the famous Batangas brewed “Barako” coffee from 1 to 3 p.m. to kick off in Lipa City which was traced to be the origin of the Liberica coffee variety, now the famous “Barako brand,” introduced by the Franciscan friars in 1740 of a massive coffee plantation in the Lipa highlands.

She said that they are targeting the millennials for a forum discussion on the importance of the Barako coffee to be spearheaded by PTCAO in partnership with the University of Batangas.

She also revealed a series of events this June for the “Araw ng Kalayaan” (Independence Day) celebration to launch their “Ala Eh!”, a Tourism Travel Guide Book of Batangas Province and the Official Music Video of Batangas province.

Meanwhile, Batangas Provincial Administrator Levi Dimaunahan also underscored the importance of tourism to spur economic development and redound to benefit Batangueño constituents.

Dimaunahan urged to seize the opportunity to make Batangas an attractive tourism destination package especially that both foreign and local tourists really spend money for vacation holidays and enjoy the tourist spots and landmarks.

He also inspired Batangueño constituents to do their share in promoting the province as a top tourism destination as “we are blessed with rich natural and marine resources and eco-tourism and religious tourism landmarks that are renowned not only in the country but throughout the world.

These include the famous Taal Volcano and its Taal Lake protected landscape, Verde Island passage acknowledged as “the center of the world’s marine biodiversity”, nature-inspired farm tourism sites, centuries-old churches and religious shrines, beaches and dive sites, among other destinations. (PNA)