Monday, August 24, 2015

JICA dares Bohol to
continue “ecotours”

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, August 21, (PIA) –After a year of down to earth partnerships with local groups to develop new eco-tourism circuits, a foreign partner group team leader challenged Boholanos to continue the activity and sustain the momentum for rural growth. 

Shinichiro Tanimoto, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Sustainable Environment for Panglao Project (SEPP) team leader said they started SEPP last year and would be closing in September.

This is after the Japanese Government with the help of local tourism stakeholders and the Bohol Eco tourism Committee capacitated communities with eco-tourism potentials and handed technical support in forms of infrastructure, equipment, information collaterals and promotion to open up more areas in Bohol for tourism.

Before JICA seals the lid for this phase of the project, the overseas development assistance would he handling to Bohol stakeholders some 20,000 eco-tourism brochures and information education, and communication collaterals, a workable website maintained by the Bohol Tourism Office as well as tour necessities like personalized sound systems and over 60 new sites proposed for official opening, according to sources. 

While some of the new identified ecotourism sites are also found within the standard chocolate Hills Tour circuit, ecotourism Bohol picks the path less travelled and bats for special tourists niche market and not mass tourism.

Ecotourism Bohol picks Maribojoc mangroves, demo farm, watch tower, Inang-angan and Loon Plaza, Cabilao Island, Antequera Farm and cave tours, Kawasan in Balilihan, Fireflies of Abatan, Tubigon raffia, Calape’s takla, Inabanga’s beads and fibers, Cambuhat river tours, caving at Danao extreme adventure park, butterflies at CHAP, Sipatan Hanging bridge and kabkab, Batuan’s rice heritage, Bohol biodiversity Center, Clarin heritage house, Loay bolomakingAlbur and Jagna Calamay, Anda beaches and Lamanoc island, Eskaya in Taytay Duero, Dimiao Ermita ruins and rondalla, Baybayon fishing village, Ubay dairy and horse-backriding and Talibon Interpretative Center. 

“We helped capacitate people for tourism development, this is in preparation for the onslaught of tourists coming via the now constructed Panglao Airport,” Tanimoto shared at Kapihan sa PIA. 

Over this, Bohol Ecotourism Committee Chairman Nonette M. Bolo said JICA’s SEPP project is in line with the government’s intention of spreading inclusive growth. 

SEPP picks on eco-tourism Bohol and operates on the vision of Bohol as a prime eco-cultural tourism destination, JICA explained. 

Already challenged for more developed tourism loops following a devastating earthquake and a wallop of typhoons, what can be done right away is to go for the “non-capital intensive,” where we can “work on whatever is there,” explained Bolo, who chairs the ecotourism council in Bohol. 

“Eco-tourism uses nature as its main capital, and banks on community involvement in the promotion and protection of the natural resources, the local culture and indigenous knowledge and practices while spreading environment education,” the chairman who also operates a tour agency in Tagbilaran said. 

The intention is to develop more and new eco-tourism sites, Bolo continued. The end goal is to trickle the economic benefits to the community, she summed. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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