Boardmember Jose Falcon, chairperson of the provincial board’s committee on tourism, said local tourism groups have pushed the creation of tourism standards “focusing on the existing businesses and services within the industry”.
Falcon earlier met with officials at least three major tourism associations in the
province and advised them to raise their concerns to the provincial government through resolutions.
The meeting was attended by officers and members of the Hotels and Resorts Association of South Cotabato, Association of South Cotabato Caterers and Restaurant Owners and the Federation of Transport Services in South Cotabato.
“I challenged the officers to agree among themselves and formulate their rules or standards. I am willing to help them in terms of local legislation and advocacy of their
standards or rules and regulations,” Falcon said.
He assured the provincial government’s support for their initiatives, stressing it has
identified the development of the area's tourism sector as one of its priorities.
Cesar Sulit Jr., South Cotabato Arts, Culture, Tourism and Sports promotions coordinator, said the formulation of tourism standards would help improve the province's tourism promotion programs.
He said it would help the province’s bid to establish international-standard tourism destinations in the area.
Among the province’s attractions is the lakeside town of Lake Sebu, which the Department of Tourism identified as one of the country’s prime eco-tourism destinations.
The town is popular for its lakeside resorts and Tilapia delicacies and was the recipient of P22 million eco-tourism development grant from the government of New Zealand.
The province also have more than two dozens of farm resorts that primarily grow year-round bounty of various tropical fruits such as durian, rambutan, lanzones and pomelo.