Wholistic approach to infrastructure projects needed for sustainable tourism 

By: Irene R. Sino Cruz March 12,2019 - 03:58 PM

Tourism Undersecretary Arturo Boncato Jr. and Candice Iyog, Cebu Pacific Air vice president for marketing and distribution, discuss ways on ensuring sustainable tourism. /Irene R Sino Cruz

CEBU CITY, Philippines-The Department of Tourism is now talking with the World Bank and Asian Development Bank about financial assistance for planning projects that ensure sustainable tourism.

Tourism Undersecretary Arturo Boncato Jr. for tourism regulation coordination and resource generation explained that the two banks would like to help the department in doing planning and making recommendations on what kind of investments should be timplemented in infrastructure.

However, Boncato explained the assistance would also include software such as skills for training and helping stakeholders, like local governments in doing planning.

“Sustainable tourism is not only focused on enforcement of existing laws, or creating new laws but also providing an environment for it to thrive,” Boncato said.

He explained that infrastructure like drainage, sewer and water systems are vital in ensuring that islands are sensitive and protective environment.

Boncato stressed, however, that the implementation of infrastructure projects should be through inter-agency coordination. He also noted the need for setting the carrying capacity of a destination as a way to attain sustainable tourism.

“The carrying capacity regulation is not focused only on the number of people visiting a certain destination visiting them but also looking at the impact of the number of people in the destination,” Boncato said.

He also cited the need to maintain the carrying capacity of a destination to ensure sustainable tourism.

Boncato cited as example Boracay where the capacity was set at around 19,000 although the average arrival was only 5,300.

However, they observed a spike in arrivals in the island because of tourists from cruise ships carrying about 4,000 passengers, he said.

Because of this, the tourism department has come up with a regulation allowing only cruise ships with maximum 2,000 passengers to visit the island./dcb

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