The Department of Tourism (DOT) elevated cultural tourism and ecotourism in the new normal as these will heighten domestic travel in the province amid the pandemic.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat reiterated that the DOT will continue to promote Laguna as a safe and sustainable tourist destination.
This strategy to highlight Laguna’s cultural and ecotourism sites was arrived at as the DOT Region 4-A prepares to launch the Green Corridor Initiative (GCI), its flagship domestic program.
“Laguna is the great outdoors we are looking for near Metro Manila. It’s rich in natural resources and cultural tourism products that most domestic travelers have been wanting to experience again since the community quarantine started almost a year now. I am here to spread the word that it is safe to come here. There’s so much to do,” Puyat said in a news release issued on Thursday.
On Tuesday, Puyat visited Laguna again to further evaluate the proposed tourism circuit and activities under the GCI.
These include the Tayak Nature, Adventure and Wildlife (TANAW) Park in Rizal; espasol making demonstration in the premises of the Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery, and the uraro and shoes making demonstration at the White House in Liliw.
The tourism chief earlier visited the Dona Leonila Park at Sampaloc Lake and Casa San Pablo.
“TANAW Park is now one of the leading tourist sites in the municipality of Rizal. I am also happy to share that it is an approved ecotourism site under the Regional Ecotourism Committee (REC). Little did we know, there are still a lot of sites and products waiting to be discovered in Laguna such as the museum in Nagcarlan and the tsinelas production site, among others. All these and more provide a sense of belongingness and pride for the host communities and a genuine travel experience to tourists now more than ever,” she said.
Puyat added that the tours and activities under the GCI can be flexible, as long as the tourist attractions within the local government units (LGUs) of Rizal, Nagcarlan, Liliw, and San Pablo City are registered under the DOT and with the respective participating LGUs.
“We will continue finding new ways to bring back tourism to this region. To ensure safety, the tourist attractions that will be a part of the circuit must be registered under the DOT and the concerned LGU. This will help us monitor and guarantee the safety of the travelers, workers, and host communities,” she added.
Other non-GCI sites visited by the tourism chief were Patis Bed and Breakfast in San Pablo, Villa Escudero in Quezon, and Ted’s Kitchen in Sta. Cruz.