Cagayan Valley needs more investors to develop potential tourism destinations

TUGUEGARAO CITY — Foreign and local investors are needed in order to further improve the tourism potentials of the Cagayan Valley region, Department of Tourism (DOT regional director Virgilio Maguigad here said Monday.

“We are still lagging behind compared to other regions in terms of tourism arrivals and its impact to the economy because we are not yet included as one of the primary tourist destinations in the country,” he said in a press conference.

Maguigad said Cagayan Valley has many tourism potentials that are yet to be developed thus the need for investors.

He said the government through the DOT-Department of Public Works and Highways(DPWH) Convergence program has poured in more than PHP2 billion for the development of access roads to the region’s tourism attractions and destinations.

Maguigad noted that the influx of foreign and domestic tourists in Cagayan Valley continue to increase over the past years which contributed more than PHP2 billion to the region’s economy.

From 2010-2015, DOT has recorded an increase of foreign and domestic tourists from more than 358,000 to 795,000, respectively.

Most of the major growth in the number of tourist arrivals were noted in 2014 with 748,861 and 795,502 in 2016.

“Most of the foreign tourists who visited Cagayan Valley came from China, Taiwan, United States and Canada, among others. These are in our top ten 10 of tourists who visited the region,” Maguigad said.

DOT also reported that PHP1.7 billion – worth of receipts were generated by the region in 2014, and it grew at PHP1.8 billion in 2015 from foreign and domestic tourists.

For this year’s first semester, DOT has listed 352,387 foreign and domestic tourist arrivals while same day visitors were at more than 1.4 million.

According to Maguigad, the National Tourism Development Plan for 2016 to 2022 will focus on the implementation and development of various projects for the Batanes and Babuyan Islands and Cagayan Coast cluster, Tuguegarao-Tabuk(Sierra Madre cluster), Ilagan-Isabela(Coast), Quirino(Sierra Madre cluster) and Nueva Vizcaya(Cordillera cluster).

He said they will pursue to develop the increase in competitiveness and ease of doing business, accelerate annual infrastructure spending account for five percent of the Gross Domestic Product(GDP) with Public-Private Partnership(PPP) playing a key role, promote rural and value chain development towards increasing agricultural development and rural enterprise and invest in human capital development, match skills and training.