The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines – In an initiative anchored on Tourism chief Ramon Jimenez’s motto that tourism is the people’s business, the townsfolk of Oslob in Cebu are learning from Donsol the best ways to handle the butanding (whale shark) as they gear up for an influx of visitors eager to see Oslob’s own attractions.
In a study tour hosted by the Department of Tourism (DOT) last month, local officials from Oslob met their colleagues in Donsol, in an effort to strengthen the tourism practices of people from Oslob and learn from Donsol's practices.
"One of the primary objectives of the tour is to observe and learn from Donsol’s best practices in the management of its whale shark watching tour, human-cetacean interaction, visitor supervision, as well as enterprise development, community involvement, and partnership approaches", Rowena Lu Y. Montecillo, DOT Region 7 Director, said.
The DOT had earlier taken initial steps in equipping Oslob locals with fundamental skills and knowledge in handling butanding watching tours. Also, seminars on effective communication, interaction protocols, etc. were conducted for boatmen to learn from.
According to Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, the active participation and initiative of local governments is the pivotal point of tourism's success.
"Only when tourism becomes the people’s business can we succeed in maximizing and spreading its benefits. We depend highly on our local community partners to implement sustainable tourism practices, as we work towards our common goals of economic growth and job creation in the country,” Jimenez said.
Donsol is a municipality in Sorsogon province , well-known for its butanding or whale shark watching which attracts several tourists. The municipality of Oslob in Cebu became a spot for whale shark watching in 2011. Aliana Gimena, InterAksyon.com