The provincial government is targeting a bigger slice of this year’s Christmas tourism market as part of broader efforts to invigorate the local economy.
In an interview on Wednesday, Jaide Castillo, assistant department head at the Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office (PTCAO), said domestic and foreign tourists are invited to witness the switching on of Christmas lights, followed by fireworks display at the provincial capitol on Saturday.
She said this event will signal the official start of PTCAO’s enhanced tourism push, expressing optimism that tourists will go visit the province over the holidays, and spend their money on Batangueño goods and services.
Castillo said the province’s tourism program this year is themed “Batangas: Melting Pot of Rich Diversity, Gateway to Prosperity.”
She said Governor Hermilando Mandanas has long sought to strengthen the provincial tourism sector with the goal of turning Batangas into a holiday destination.
“This year, our provincial government made the lights even better that we spent more time preparing for this year’s celebration,” she added.
Moreover, a “Barakahan sa Kapitolyo” (Camaraderie at the Capitol) will be held, featuring a wide array of products from the province’s farmers, fisherman associations, cooperatives and local vendors from Nov. 24 to Dec. 24.
“Our [PTCAO] office will also be open for the public so they can experience the Verde Island Passage (VIP) immersive underwater experience,” Castillo said.
The provincial government also showcased the VIP in the 34th Philippine Travel Mart in September.
In a separate message, Mandanas told the Philippine News Agency that this tourism effort is intended to create awareness of the VIP’s importance not only to the province but to the world.
“It is an important and yet much ignored blessing… since the VIP is recognized as the global center of marine biodiversity and a rich source of food,” the governor said.
Meanwhile, the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office will also celebrate the National Children’s Month before the formal opening of Christmas lights on Saturday at 6 p.m. (PNA)