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Living in The Philippines => Places to Visit/ Things to Do => Topic started by: aerosick on August 07, 2008, 11:27:34 PM

Title: Dapitan City seeks busier tourism traffic
Post by: aerosick on August 07, 2008, 11:27:34 PM

DAPITAN CITY ( — In a bid to increase tourist arrivals in this town, home to the internationally renowned Dakak Park and Beach Resort, a joint public-private sector initiative is set to embark on an advertising blitz anchored on affordable tour packages, officials said.

Consuelo K. Locop, a member of the Tourism and Investment Council of Dapitan, said they will come out with TVCs starting this month to promote not only Dakak but also the other tourism sites in the city such as the Rizal Shrine. Jose Rizal, the country’s national hero, was exiled in Dapitan and the area where he used to live has been preserved, including his house, hospital huts, sculptures and pictures of his girlfriends, among others.

A three-day, two-night stay at Dakak awaits those who will avail of the package at only P2,700 per person. The package covers tours of the city, meals and fun rides at the city’s entertainment center, Ms. Locop said at the First Media Summit on Ecotourism held the other week. There is a catch, however, since only a group with a minimum of 10 persons can avail of the promotion.

She said they are strengthening their promotional activities as the resort and the city suffered lower tourism traffic due to the controversy involving convicted rapist Romeo Jalosjos as well as the dreaded Kuratong Baleleng criminal gang.

Currently, improvement works are being done in Dakak, which offers full water sports, a golf course, tennis and other leisure activities. One of the major improvements under construction is the setting up of a casino center.

Ms. Locop said that efforts are also focused on establishing a tourist assistance center at the heart of the city.

\"There are gems actually waiting to be discovered in Dapitan. Dapitan can never be replicated because of Jose Rizal,\" said Apple Marie A. Agolong, chairperson of the Sangguniang Panlungsod’s committee on tourism.

Zamboanga del Norte Gov. Rolando E. Yebes, said the provincial government wants to develop Dapitan City as the province’s \"seat of culture.\" However, he added that the tourism potentials of Zamboanga del Norte have been affected by the negative perceptions of Mindanao.

Mr. Yebes said they hoped to move forward by marketing the province as destination \"Zanorte\" (short for Zamboanga del Norte).

He claimed that tourist arrivals increased by 200% since they began promoting the province as Zanorte.

\"In the end, tourists who arrived here because of the Zanorte promotion realized that they were still in Mindanao,\" said Mr. Yebes.