About 40 members of the National Association of Independent Tour Operators Associations will hold an educational and familiarization tour today to evaluate and inventory the latest tourism products and services Bacolod City and Negros Occidental has to offer, Bacolod City Tourism Council chairman and former Bacolold Rep John Orola said.
Orola said they are looking at Bacolod and Negros as an emerging tourist destination, and would like to see attractions in line with the Secretary of Tourism's tag line, ‘It is more fun in the Philippines.'
He said they are joining forces with NAITA and other local government units with tourism councils in Western Visayas in this program.
Orola also said they will have a workshop in Iloilo on September 18 and 19 on the various tour packages and infrastructure in areas that are potential sites for tourism destinations they have to develop.
He said they have to find out how they can promote the various destinations in Western Visayas. They will compare notes and come up with activities and programs that complement each other, Orola added.
He also said that tourism is an important industry and Negrenses have to be ready in case the sugar industry encounters a problem in 2015 or 2016, when the zero tariff will be imposed.
That is why there is a need for alternative industries like tourism that will provide food, employment and foreign revenues to the local economy, he said.
Orola also invited the members of NAITA to the MassKara Festival and asked their help in promoting Bacolod and Negros as tourist destinations, during a fellowship dinner Saturday at the Metrodome in Bacolod. Present were Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson, Councilor Em Ang City, Tourism Officer Imogene Kana-an, executive assistant to the Mayor Moises de la Cruz, among others.
Meanwhile, Orola said he will put up Aero Tours and Travel where the students of the VMA Global Colleges, who are enrolled in Tourism, can have on-the-job training.*CGS