TOURIST SPOTS. Mayor John Dalipe issues an order Thursday (July 21, 2022) declaring all tourist spots open to more visitors to revive the tourism industry of Zamboanga City that was badly affected by the health pandemic. The order aims to address the increasing number of tourists wanting to visit local tourist spots, particularly the Great Santa Cruz Island. (Photo courtesy of City Hall Public Information Office)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The city government has declared all tourist spots open to more visitors to revive the local tourism industry that was badly affected by the coronavirus disease-19 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Mayor John Dalipe issued Thursday an order to better address the increasing number of tourists wanting to visit the city's tourist spots on a daily basis, especially the Great Santa Cruz Island.

The picturesque place is a small, inhabited island that is famous for its pink sand beach. It is located four kilometers (2.49 miles) south of the city downtown.

Dalipe ordered the City Tourism Office, through the Protected Area and Management Office, to accommodate 500 tourists a day from the 200 capacity established due to the pandemic.

“This is to help boost our local economy and to support the locals who rely their livelihood on the number of guests visiting the Island,” said Dalipe in a statement Thursday.

“Come visit the famous pink beach of the city of Zamboanga,” he added.

The Great Santa Cruz Island together with Little Santa Cruz Island are protected areas under Proclamation No. 271 issued on April 23, 2000.

The other fast-becoming famous local tourist spot is the “Once Islas”, a new eco-cultural tourism destination here that was opened to the public since 2018.

The Once Islas is a cluster of 11 mostly uninhabited islands and islets ideal for swimming, kayaking, and trekking, that belong to the remote barangays of Panubigan and Dita.

Dalipe said the city has many things to offer including the Merloquet Falls, inland as well as mountain resorts, and historical and heritage zones. (PNA)