The provincial government of Catanduanes and its tourism office are fully preparing for the arrival of some 60 guests aboard the Australian cruise ship Coral Adventurer to the island province on Oct. 31.
In an interview on Monday, Carmel Garcia, Catanduanes Tourism Office chief, said the province is part of the two-week visit of Australian tourists in the country.
“We are fortunate that we are included in the places that will be visited. It is a luxury ship smaller than the usual cruise ship that we can see with thousands of passengers. We are now finalizing the activities and tour itinerary to ensure a well-planned and memorable experience for our visitors,” Garcia said.
She said the visit of the cruise ship will boost the tourism promotion of the island province of Catanduanes.
“This will open up to the whole world not only to the Australian visitors what Catanduanes can offer. Once it is posted on social media platforms, it will open opportunities. It will also contribute to the economy since we are allowed to set up souvenir shops during their visit,” Garcia said.
She said the visit of the tourists is a big opportunity for Catanduanes to showcase its natural tourist destinations and rich culture and heritage.
“We have to give our best, after this event, the reactions, reviews, and word of mouth will have a big impact for our province,” Garcia said.
She said while in Catanduanes on Oct. 31, the cruise ship will head to Palumbanes Island in Caramoran town.
“They will stay there for at least three hours, and then they will proceed to Virac town. They will have a land tour to visit John the Baptist Church in Bato town, one of the oldest churches in the country, she said.
The tourism office will let tourists try “pinukpok” fabric and abaca weaving, witness the production of “latik”, a native rice cake with caramelized coconut milk, and visit shops for souvenir items.
“The event is fully supported by the Department of Tourism (DOT), as the host, the provincial government, and the three different local government units (LGUs) that will be visited– Virac, Bato, and Caramoran,” Garcia said.
She said that last week, a familiarization tour was held in the province for executives of Coral Adventurer Expedition Cruise Line and the DOT as part of the preparations for the cruise ship’s visit.
While Catanduanes is known as the “Abaca Capital of the Philippines”, it is also famous for its breathtaking highlands and captivating beaches.
After visiting the province, the Australian tourists will also visit Ticao Island in Masbate province. (PNA)