The Department of Tourism (DOT) announced that it will intensify its promotion of lesser known provinces and not just the top tourist destinations in the country.
This was revealed by Tourism Undersecretary Kat de Castro following her recent visit to Baler, Aurora during their annual Coco-Sabutan Festival.
De Castro said Baler Mayor Nelianto Bihasa asked her to join the panel of judges for the Miss Baler pageant, one of the highlights of the festival.
De Castro said the mayor asked the DOT to help promote his province as a vacation destination.
”I told him that shouldn’t be a problem because one of Secretary (Wanda Corazon) Teo’s priorities as DOT head is to put the spotlight also on lesser known destinations,” she said.
De Castro said she assured Bihasa that DOT would “shift its focus from popular destinations, such as Boracay and Cebu, to destinations that would need more promotions.”
She said the mayor likewise pointed out the need for infrastructure development, particularly roads leading to their town.
The DOT official said she also discussed the possibility of reviving regular flights to Baler with Bihasa.
”As of now, there are no flights to Baler even though they have an airport. A representative of PAL (Philippine Airlines), who was also one of the judges, will bring it up to their bosses,” she said.
The Coco Sabutan Festival is an annual celebration of the people of Baler in honor of its patron, San Luis Obispo, and in commemoration of the birth of the late President Manuel L. Quezon.
The festival also marks the 407th founding anniversary of the province.
Aside from the Miss Baler pageant, the week-long celebration also features street dancing, the Search for Little Ms. Baler, a Historical Quiz Bee and other fun activities.