Tourists coming here will now have a comfortable place to stay as the Department of Tourism (DOT) turned over a completed PHP7-million tourist rest area (TRA) to the city government on Friday.
The facility in Barangay Peñaplata intends to provide an enhanced tourism experience for tourists coming to the island with an available information kiosk, a pasalubong center, restrooms, and a resting area for visitors.
In her speech during the turnover ceremony, DOT Secretary Christina Frasco said she led the turnover of the facility as a way to fulfill the promise of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to spread countrywide development through tourism.
“It aims to fulfill the vision of the President to enhance the entire tourism experience by investing in infrastructure, connectivity, digitalization, innovation and by strengthening tourism governance among our national, local, and private partners,” she added.
The TRA here is the second in Mindanao, with the first inaugurated earlier this month in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon province.
“We want the Philippines to bounce back through tourism. We have seen that tourism has given various opportunities to our fellowmen to improve their lives,” Frasco said.
She said the DOT has built 10 TRAs all over the country to give micro, small and medium enterprises a chance to sell their products.
“Currently, we are plotting where we can strategically put the additional 15 TRAs. I can assure you that we can add much more in the two that we inaugurated here in Mindanao,” Frasco said.
Last year, Frasco said around 5.3 million Filipinos have been employed in the tourism sector.
In an interview, Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS) Mayor Al David Uy acknowledged the DOT for the facility given to their city.
“It is a big help because we now have an additional area where the tourist can rest, [inquire] if they need information, and go to a clean comfort room,” he said.
Uy assured the local government will provide the manpower and local products to make the facility sustainable. (PNA)