Governor Jose Chavez Alvarez has urged Palawan’s tourism stakeholders to develop homestay accommodations in the province in anticipation of a surge in the province’s tourist arrival after the closure of Boracay Island in Aklan.
“Malaki ang problema natin, it is a happy problem. Dapat ready tayo dahil ang problema ng Boracay ay opportunity ng Palawan. Tulong-tulong tayo dahil oportunidad natin ang problema nila,” Governor Alvarez said during the Tourism Stakeholder Forum on Tuesday.
Alvarez encouraged households to convert their available rooms for transient guests as a homestay facility for tourists.
“Hinihikayat ko ang lahat na kung maaari lahat ng mga bahay na pwede gawing homestay. Siksikan muna sila diyan. Anyway, two to three months lang ito. Homestay is the best answer. Kung wala talaga bilihan ng LGU ng tent at pabantayan, ang importante ay may matulugan sila, may tubig at palikuran na magagamit,” Alvarez said.
Department of Tourism (DOT)- MIMAROPA Regional Director Ma. Luisa Diploma, who attended the forum, said that they are currently assessing the readiness of the facilities in Palawan in anticipation of an increase in the province’s tourism activity.
She suggested to repack the tours and upgrade the tourist facilities in the major tourist destination in Palawan that will be more attractive.
“We will assess the readiness of the major tourist attraction. I suggest that you try to repackage your tours so that tourist will able to see other destinations and areas. Also, try to upgrade your facilities, so that it will be more attractive for the tourists coming in,” she said
Diploma added they will be putting up a satellite office at the Puerto Princesa Airport and in Coron.
“We realized that Puerto Princesa and Coron are the top destinations here, so we decided to open up satelite office as these are the places that have volume of visitors so that our services could be faster,” she said.
Aroud 1.4 million tourists visited Palawan in 2017, according to statistics of the provincial government.
The province also recently opened direct flights from Taipei and Xiamen, China. Flights from Incheon and Busan, Korea are also set to open starting June and July.