A one-stop-shop tourism center is now ready to cater to tourists who want to know and explore various destinations in Antique.
On Friday, the province inaugurated its Tourist Information Center (TIC) at the old capitol building as part of the activities of the Tourism Month celebration this September.
“I hope that with the TIC, Antique’s tourism could be put on a map in Western Visayas, and even in the country,” Governor Rhodora Cadiao said in her message during the launching ceremony.
Personnel of the Antique Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office (APTCAO) will be assigned to the center to respond to queries on destinations and available transportation, among others.
Tourists could also get tourism brochures and a glimpse of the destinations in the 18 municipalities through the pictures mounted inside the TIC.
Cadiao said the tourism industry of the province has flourished after the pandemic.
APTCAO data showed a total of 72,877 tourist arrivals from January to June 2023.
The tourist arrivals have been constantly increasing from 10,577 in 2020, 22,662 in 2021 and 76,369 last year.
“We have (a) diverse topography attractive to tourists,” Cadiao said.
The notable destinations include the Malandog River in Barangay Malandog in Hamtic town which, according to history, is the first Malay settlement in the country, and where life-size statues of the 10 Malay datus (chieftain) are mounted, Mararison in the municipality of Culasi known for its white powdery beach sand, and Aningalan in the town of San Remigio with its cool climate and beautiful mountain scenery.
APTCAO head Juan Carlos Perlas said the TIC is open during office hours on weekdays, but they will work out to have it operational even during weekends, especially this coming Christmas holiday and the Binirayan Festival.
Aside from the TIC, they will also launch the Search for a “Datu kang Antique” (Chieftain of Antique), who will serve as the tourism ambassador of the province as part of the Tourism Month celebration. (PNA)