Bohol lives up to sustainable tourism goals.

May 23, 2018
Bohol lives up

Source: BY THE MANILA TIMES ON MAY 23, 2018

The opening of Panglao airport and the six-month hiatus of Boracay pose challenges to Bohol to start massive infrastructure development to deal with the rising number of tourists.

Bohol is one of the top travel destinations in the Philippines with tranquil beaches, diving destinations and world wonders such as the Chocolate Hills and the endemic primate Tarsier.

Its image as an Ecotourism capital is a result of the strong tripartite partnership of local government, community and private sector.

Bohol governor Edgar Chato said sustainable tourism is not only an active promotion of green tourism but a decisive measure to mitigate threats of climate change and impact of calamities that affect the tourism sector.

Governor Chato said sustainable tourism should be a model for all tourist destinations across the country to maintain the natural environment, promote socio cultural heritage and push economic growth in provinces.

Sustainable tourism

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) defines sustainable tourism as tourism that takes into full account its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.

One of the key dimensions of sustainable tourism is respect for the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities as well as conservation of their built and living cultural heritage and traditional values. Private investors are critical to integrating sustainability in the tourism sector.

While there are new hotels and resorts opening up in Bohol, most of them make sure they live up to the principles of sustainability.

Bohol’s attractions revolve around Filipino traditions, cultural practices and native products made from indigenous materials.

Filipino architecture

Beyond providing a luxury tourism facility, Bluewater Resort in Panglao has a Filipino-inspired architecture inside and out, with the steel roof topped by more than six inches of cogon grass that requires regular replacement every five years.

The cogon grass makes the structures, not only very Filipino, but also well insulated from heat and sound. Even heavy rains cannot be heard inside. In between, two rows of 2-storey premier deluxe buildings are nestled.

Amenities include a 1,000-sqm swimming pool with a poolside bar that and offers adobo and sisig pizzas.

The 6.2 hectare resort is a well-landscaped paradise between heaven and the deep blue sea, but all in the context and character of a true-blue Filipino. It has 54 rooms and six venues for various functions.

Electric carts take guests around the verdant landscape, which features indigenous plants along the footpaths and walkways leading to the accommodation and leisure facilities, a restaurant, events venues, activity areas, and the 70-meter-wide beachfront.

A bridge runs across the pool to link the two buildings and provide access to an island-like central platform for sunbathing. A roofed and curtained open structure on an elevated ground nearby offers a relaxing massage.

Another pool of for day tours is situated near the 120-capacity restaurant and coffee shop that serve breakfast buffets and a la carte meals.

Leading its bestsellers is the adobo rice in bamboo with fried pork and lechon toppings.

The restaurant overlooks the beach, which is best for kayaking and snorkeling as it is just 300 meters away from a marine sanctuary.

Buoys mark the perimeter of the sanctuary where the beach comes to a sudden steep drop, making a majestic coral wall out of the underwater cliff and attracting divers and marine videographers from around the world.

Bohol has over 75 islets with numerous waterfalls, caves and its pride-1,776 Chocolate Hills.

The island province is home to many of the world’s wonders, such as the tarsier—a primate that can only be found in the province.

The cooperation of local government, the private sector and the community, with assistance from international community, has also led to the successful rehabilitation and restoration of many of the province’s 15th century Spanish churches, ancestral houses damaged by the 2013 earthquake.

Bohol is developing new destinations, such as the mangroves in Banacon, white and powdery sands in Anda that can be at par with Boracay and Lamanok’s mystical island.

Margie F. Munsayac, voce president for marketing of Bluewater Panglao said the resort opened in 2011 and has endured the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in 2013.

The resort has drawn visitors from various parts of the Philippines, as well as China, Korea, Taiwan, United States and Europe.

Governor Chato said sustainable tourism should be a model in all tourist destinations across the country to maintain natural environment, socio cultural heritage and push economic growth in provinces.

ESTRELLA TORRES

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