At least 42 boat operators and 200 front-liners in a tourist destination town in Sorsogon province have benefited from the Boat Enhancement Project under the Kagandahan (Beautification) program of the provincial government of Sorsogon.
In a follow-up interview on Wednesday, Bobby Gigantone, Sorsogon Provincial Tourism, Culture and Arts Office chief, said the PHP6 million worth of enhancement project seeks to give the best experience to every tourist during his whale shark interaction in Donsol town by improving the quality of services provided by tourism staff.
“From the time they arrived in the area, we want to showcase the neatness, beauty, and cleanliness of our facilities up to the personnel. We want to showcase the improved aesthetic appearance of the boats as part of the package of tourism in Donsol,” Gigantone said.
He said under the Kagandahan (Beautification) program of the provincial government, they provided beautification to sets of accredited boats and uniforms to boat personnel.
“The incentives come after the boat operators complied with the standard set by the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina). Our priority is the safety and security of our guests so those who support and observe the government’s protocols must also be assisted,” he added.
Gigantone said since sightings of “butanding” or whale sharks started this month, they have been receiving 50 to 70 local and foreign tourists per day in Donsol town alone.
“Aside from butanding interaction in the morning, tourists can also enjoy the breathtaking spectacle on the Donsol River where thousands of fireflies light up the night, floating in and out of the trees and over the water,” he said.
Gigantone said that in 2024, they are expecting to welcome at least 1.2 million domestic and foreign tourists.
“In Sorsogon, we have a variety of destinations that will surely make their stay memorable as our tagline (is) “Beautiful Sorsogon!—Where Beauty is Everywhere.” They can visit the Balay Buhay sa Uma Bee Farm in Bulusan and the Barcelona Agrihope Tourism Farm in Barcelona, the Subic Beach in Matnog, the hot springs in Irosin, and the Bulusan Volcano Natural Park,” he said.
Sorsogon province can be accessible via land and air by visitors coming from Manila, and via boat from Samar and Cebu. (PNA)