ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanews/23 July) – The Department of Tourism (DOT) in partnership with the local government has introduced vinta sailing as an additional attraction at the scenic Paseo del Mar in this city.
The Paseo del Mar is a 2.5-hectare leisure park located between the historical shrine of Our Lady of the Pillar and Lantaka Hotel by the Sea, the oldest hotel in this city.
The Paseo del Mar, a slum area years ago, is the newest tourist attraction in this city.
DOT Regional Director Maryjune Bugante, who initiated the “Vinta Sailing at Paseo” project said it is part of his office’s effort to preserve and promote Zamboanga City’s cultural identity through colorful vinta sails.
At the same time the project is aimed at developing new programs to attract domestic and foreign tourists, according to Bugante, who together with Mayor Celso Lobregat, led the launching program on Saturday.
Lobregat has commended the DOT initiative. He said the project makes the tourism branding “More Fun in the Philippines and More Fun in Zamboanga” very meaningful.
The launching of the project will give the chance not only for tourists but for residents to see the vintas more often not only during the Regatta de Zamboanga, he added.
The launching on Saturday drew crowds of tourists and residents, each one hoping to get the chance to feel the fun-filled experience aboard the vinta.
Bugante said the Vinta Sailing at Paseo will be available every Saturday and Sunday at an affordable cost of P50 for a 20 to 30 minutes ride around the picturesque Paseo del Mar.
Bugante said the vintas being used have complied with the requirements set by her office, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and other concerned government agencies.
She said that five vintas with colorful sails will be on standby at the Paseo del Mar for anyone who wishes to enjoy the sea ride.
She said vinta sailing is also aimed at providing the Badjaos, who operate the vintas, an additional income. (MindaNews)