The Department of Tourism in the Caraga Region (DOT-13) said proposals to develop more tourism sites in various provinces would further boost the tourism industry in the area.
DOT-13 OIC director Mary Jean Camarin told reporters that they have received the infrastructure proposals for the development of tourism sites that will be submitted to the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) for funding and approval this year.
Camarin said the necessary requirements and endorsements from the local government units (LGUs) concerned were attached to the proposals.
Among the big-ticket tourism infrastructure projects for Caraga include the PHP2.5 million construction of concrete foot trail in Poneas Island Hidden Lake in San Benito town, Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte and the PHP100 million construction of Gibong River boardwalk in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur.
In its justification attached to the proposal, the LGU of San Benito said the Poneas Island Hidden Lake is among the major destinations in the area and the construction of the concrete foot trail would be vital for tourists who wish to visit the lake.
Two more projects were submitted for approval to include the PHP60 million construction of a marina and waterfront and wharf in the town of Nasipit in Agusan del Norte and the PHP40 million development of the Mountain Park in Tagnote Falls in Remedios T. Romualdez (RTR) town also in Agusan del Norte.
Nasipit local officials said the construction of the marina and wharf is anchored on the request of domestic and international yachting clubs.
The marina and wharf will also serve as a haven for sailors especially during bad weather, the LGU added.
Meanwhile, the RTR local government said the PHP40-million project will provide accommodations for various nature-adventure activities for the general public.
The project will include the construction of accommodation, food, and activity facilities that will attract a wide range of visitors such as mountain bikers, campers, cavers, trekkers, climbers, and birdwatchers.
“These infrastructure proposals will further lift the tourism industry in the region especially the host towns,” Camarin said.
The realization of the project will attract more local and foreign tourists, provide job opportunities, increased income to the LGUs and local businesses, she added.
In December, DOT-Caraga recorded a 10 percent increase in tourist arrivals in the region during the first quarter of 2019.
Tourist arrival in the area during the period was over 400,000 as DOT-13 expressed optimism to hit two million tourist arrivals for 2019.
A total of 1.3 million foreign and local tourist arrivals were recorded in Caraga in 2018. (PNA)