Tourism Attaché to San Francisco, Rene de los Santos yesterday said they would like to help promote Bacolod City as a tourism destination to Bacoleños and Negrenses in the United States and Canada.
De los Santos said they want to promote the MassKara Festival and the Balik Bacolod program among the residents of the San Francisco Bay Area, especially those from Negros.
De los Santos is in Bacolod City for the 7th Ambassadors Consul General Forum.
He said they came to the Philippines with 400 participants to attend the annual tour organized by the Philippine Consulate all over the US and Canada that is being held in Manila, Bacolod and Iloilo.
De los Santos said tourism is the number one priority project of the President and its economic benefits have wide-ranging effects on the economy.
“We need more infrastructure and more funding for promotions, which is the major thrust of tourism,” he said.
The budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Department of Communication and Transportation are geared toward tourism development, De los Santos said.
Former Bacolod Rep. John Orola said they have to work hard for the Visayas region to get to the top three tourist destinations in the Philippines. “We need to regain the slot we used to occupy,” he said.
Orola, chairman of the Bacolod City Tourism Council and West Visayas Tourism Council, said he hopes that the Department of Tourism through their linkages in the US, will be able to bring in more tourists, especially during the MassKara Festival.
“It is more fun to be in Bacolod this coming MassKara Festival,” he said.
He added that he hopes De los Santos will help them organize more tours for Negrenses and Bacoleños in the West Coast.
De los Santos said he believes that, “With the hospitality and friendliness of the people, we can provide excitement and memorable experiences for our tourists.”
Orola said Bacolod is an emerging tourism destination considering that the facilities Mayor Evelio Leonardia had built have been recognized.
He said they will also explore how they can help promote Alangilan as the summer capital of Bacolod, and also hope to make Bacolod a destination for travel writers.*CGS.