Aklan Celebrates Tourism Week
Aklan Provincial Tourism Week held an impressive opening program on September 14, 2015 at the Trade Hall, Provincial Capitol with the theme, “Feel Alive, Feel Aklan”. In attendance are Municipal Mayors, Vice Mayors, Sangguniang Bayan Chairpersons on Tourism, Tourism Officers, students and members of Tri-media.
Hon. Billie V. Calizo Quimpo revealed that Aklan is now major tourists destination capturing one-third of tourist arrivals in the Philippines. We had 1.49 million visitors in 2014 that earned P41 billion for Aklan province and stakeholders. As of August 2015, we recorded 1.3 million tourists and this shows our vibrancy and sterling leadership in handling the tourism industry in Aklan, said Vice Governor Quimpo.
Gov. Joeben T. Miraflores averred that based on jobs and income generation, tourism is considered the backbone of Aklan’s economy. This is the reason why we are improving accessibility, safety and comfort of our international travelers by upgrading two existing airports to international standards within three years and construction of Kalibo Circumferential Road. Kalibo International Airport is planned to handle wide bodied aircrafts capable of long distance flights from Dubai, Vladivostok, UK and US.
We have a lot of potentials in developing tourism industry in every municipality by seeking private sector cooperation especially cottage industries that could be developed, standardized, and marketed. We have preferred indigenous materials such as abaca, raffia, pina, bamboo, rattan, nitto, buri, bariw and wood that only need artisans with a creative minds, passion and diligence. With the increasing number of international cruise ships docking in Boracay, we could entice them to dock also in New Washington for a visit to the Provincial Capital, the Governor concluded.
Our tourism theme this year draws inspiration from the world theme, “One Billion Tourist, 1 Billion Opportunities”, conceded Ms. Roselle Q. Ruiz, Provincial Tourism Officer. Activities include: a 2-day Trade Fair, Success Stories of Aklan Entrepreneurs, Bisikleta Karera (from Kalibo to Lezo), T-shirt painting, feature writing contest, and Cooking challenge for students.
Feel alive is a concept to savor the warmth and beauty of Aklanon hospitality, distinct language, cuisine, arts and crafts and natural wonders. Discovery and enjoyment is within reach since the Aklan Tourism Officers Association (AKTOA) are working closely with LGUs, underscored Mrs. Ruiz.
A volunteer student organization named “Kabataan Para sa Turismo” (KABATAK) headed by Mr. Phillip Y. Kimpo is formally launched to support local tourism industry achieve its goals. Presented are 19 students from Aklan Catholic College, Aklan State University-College of Industrial Technology, and STI who are slated to undergo on the job training as tourist guides and information officers.
The 17 Municipal Posters by their respective officials and representatives is unrevealing which highlighted the celebration. Art and splendor captured on film portrayed the best representation of each town whether natural or man-made of its rich culture heritage. Portraits adorned the lobby of the Trade Hall for free viewing the whole week while daily programs are being held.
Adding color and excitement are two spirited dance numbers performed by agile dancers namely: “Various Festivals of Aklan” by Malinao School for Philippine Craftsmen and “Hakeaw” by Infant Jesus Academy. Some 300 guests and visitors attended the opening program. /MP