DUMAGUETE CITY – A new state-of-the-art Tourism Information Center at the Dumaguete-Sibulan airport in Negros Oriental is seen to provide a seamless experience for both travelers and locales alike coming to the province.
Negros Oriental Tourism Executive Director Woodrow Maquiling Jr. said in an interview on Tuesday that the Tourism Information Center offers various services and information through personal interactions or online and offline digital platforms.
“The Tourist Information Center is the first touchpoint in Negros Oriental, considering there is only one airport in the province. We have designed it to be at par with global standards for a professional and more welcoming look and feel,” Maquiling said.
“The new design is made of bamboo cladding and solihiya, a trendy Filipino rattan weave and the same material being used as a backdrop at Malacañang Palace, and a red carpet to add pizazz.”
Tourism office personnel have been assigned on two shifts at the tourism center in the airport's passenger arrival area to attend to clients until the last plane is out from the airport at 10 p.m., he said.
To cut long lines at the information desk, a touch-screen electronic media board is also set up at the airport for “DIY” or do-it-yourself tourists who want to directly access the information they need without waiting for too long, he added.
Flyers and other printed materials are available at the desk while some tour guides and accredited transport groups can be arranged for immediate response to travelers’ requirements, Maquiling said.
These services and information were lacking in the past, with tourists and even returning residents scrambling to find assistance from any person available at the airport upon arrival, he pointed out.
Information on the electronic media board includes not just existing and new tourist destinations but particulars such as hotels, transportation, food and food outlets, and other details about the province.
Existing tourist destinations such as the famed Apo Island in Dauin town and how to get there, are uploaded to the media board, but what makes this innovation interesting is that it contains information promoting the province’s newest and latest tourism circuit in the northern town and cities, Maquiling said.
The tourism circuit that is being developed includes Canlaon City, Vallehermoso, Guihulngan City, La Libertad, and other adjacent areas, where the rice terraces, “chocolate hills,” scuba diving, among others, are promoted.
Governor Manuel L. Sagarbarria, who gave a brief message during the center’s launching Monday afternoon, expressed optimism that this will bring in more tourists to Negros Oriental once they learn of the easy access to information upon their arrival at the airport.
He recalled that when he was still a member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, the tourism information center was one of the projects that he had pushed and now it has materialized.
Meanwhile, Rep. Manuel T. Sagarbarria of the second district, said there is a need to add new flights to Negros Oriental as it is now difficult to secure a ticket, an indication that tourism is picking up again after the pandemic hiatus.
There are at least seven to eight flights a day at the Dumaguete-Sibulan airport bound for Manila and Cebu and vice versa.
Plans are afoot to establish a similar tourism information center at the city port in this provincial capital. (PNA)