GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/24 April) — The provincial government of Sarangani is projecting around 80,000 tourist or visitor arrivals for the upcoming 2014 Sarangani Bay Festival (SarBay).
April Marjorie Rudes, tourism operations officer of the Sarangani Tourism and Investment Promotions Center (STIPC), said such figure is around 15 percent higher than the recorded tourist arrivals of around 70,000 during last year’s SarBay festival.
This year’s festivities, which will be hosted anew by the famed white sand beaches of Glan town, are slated on May 16 to 17.
Rudes said they came up with such target based on the increasing trend in terms of visitor or tourist arrivals during the festivities in the last two years.
She noted that they recorded around 52,000 tourist arrivals during the SarBay festival in 2012 and the figures increased to 70,000 or around 30 percent more in 2013.
The tourist arrival figures for the SarBay were based on calculations made by the Sarangani Provincial Police Office, she said.
“We’re overwhelmed by the results since we only targeted a 10- percent increase in arrivals last year. So for this year, we’re targeting a 10 to 15 percent increase,” Rudes said in a statement.
She attributed the increasing tourist arrivals during the festivities to the improving organization and implementation of the lined up events every year.
“We made it a point to really make the activities a bit different and more interesting every year to encourage our tourists to keep coming back,” she said.
In this year’s SarBay festival, Rudes said party-goers and beach enthusiasts may look forward to three new events.
She said they will be introducing the Sarbay Triathlon for the Environment, the Paddle Board Clinic and the Sarbay Jet Ski Competition, which will be staged as a national competition.
Popular band Kamikazee will be featured at the Concert at the Bay and Splash in the Sky event, which will be held on the second day of the festivities on May 17, she said.
Organizers will be putting up anew a tent city/village for the festival, which will be held along a stretch of white sand beaches between Rosal Beach and White Haven resorts in Barangay Gumasa in Glan.
Rudes said the tent city will be established outside the festival venue to make it more organized and to ensure that the beach area will remain clear of wastes.
“We will follow a tent city layout. Guests or tenants will fill out a registration form and pay the corresponding fee before their tents will be set up,” she said.
She said those who will register on May 15 or 16 would pay the two-day rate but those who will register on May 17 would only pay the one-day rate.
The two-day rate for a tent with four guests or less is placed at P300, while those for five guests or more will be charged P500.
The one-day rate is set at P150 and P250 for tents with four guests or less and tents with five guests or more, respectively.
Rudes said this year’s festivities will give more importance on environmental protection.
“We will give emphasis on environmental protection. This is actually our focus every year and we will enhance for this year. We will inspire the audience that they really need to be responsible, especially on proper waste disposal,” she added. (MindaNews)