The city government has increased its budget allocation for tourism in 2024 to PHP48.9 million, with a provision for a five-year master plan.
In a statement on Tuesday, City Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office chief Rico Libre said the city government needs to craft a quinquennial tourism plan to enable the city to compete with top destinations in the country.
“The trend in Philippine tourism nowadays is on health-wellness, business, and educational tourism. The provinces of Cebu and Bohol and Davao City are busy conducting training and providing assistance to their stakeholders (to boost their tourism),” he said.
Next year’s tourism budget is higher by PHP17.7 million.
Libre asked the city council during the budget hearing to pass a resolution for the five-year tourism master plan to identify which projects would be prioritized for implementation.
He also noted that developing various white water rafting stations is necessary, while still making river tourism a priority due to the city’s white water rafting program.
The city should develop eco-cultural tourism, emphasizing the indigenous community, he added.
“Cagayan de Oro City still maintains its position as a top tourist destination in Misamis Oriental province as we are the gateway and hub of northern Mindanao. So we have to sustain (and even accelerate) that momentum,” Libre said.
The City Budget Office said PHP1.2 million has been allocated for ecotourism livelihood, specifically for hinterland communities. (PNA)