ILOILO CITY – The tourism industry in Guimaras is slowly picking up since the province opened its doors to visitors from Western Visayas in October last year.
Liberty Ferrer, Senior Tourism Operations Officer and officer-in-charge of the Provincial Tourism Office (PTO), said on Thursday based on the trend a lot of tourists, particularly bike and motorcycle enthusiasts, visit Guimaras on weekends.
Available data showed that 38,216 tourists visited Guimaras during the last quarter of 2020.
Apart from rides, also enticing visitors to the province are its farm tourism, eco-sites, accommodation establishments with resorts, and beaches, she said in a phone interview.
Ferrer also said that they are thankful that even with the pandemic, tourism farms continue with their development projects.
“We encourage our guests to visit those that are ready and accredited by the Department of Tourism (DOT),” she added.
Ferrer said that while tourism in the province is slowly picking up, they could not tell yet as to when it will be back to normal as tourists outside of the region are still not welcome to visit.
On Wednesday, the provincial government turned over handwashing sinks to eight DOT-accredited agri-farms.
“We give them handwashing sinks that will be placed at the entrance of their farms so guests can wash their hands before they enter,” she said.
Among the recipients were Alma Santarina of Villa Santarina Farm; Edmon Mella of JEM Home Farm; Susan Tespoer of NJST Fruit Farm; Rose Gressier, Guimaras Wonders Farm; Leydee Sideño, Reyley Fish and Farm Haven; Charlie Lozañes, Fatima Farm; Jose Cruz, Cruz Vineyard and Dio-an Albilar of the MJ Grapes Farm.
The turnover was facilitated by the PTO in collaboration with the Provincial Office for Agricultural Services to support the recovery of both the agriculture and tourism sectors as the province gears up towards the new normal.
Meantime, DOT granted certificates to operate to 25 resorts and those with accommodation establishments.
Before the certificate will be issued, she said, establishments have to first comply with health protocols, and information materials about anti-coronavirus disease 2019 prevention were also provided. (PNA)