To prepare the tourism attractions for the influx of tourists, the Department of Tourism designs and implements relevant Product Development Programs in the destinations of local government units.
In the recent roll-out of the program, the municipalities within the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park (NSMNP) in Isabela and East Coast Cagayan, were the recipients of a Product Development Workshop (PDW) participated by local government tourism officers and tourism industry stakeholders.
The workshop on Product Development targets ecotourism at key natural heritage sites and encourages entrepreneurial groups to implement projects that provide sustainable benefits to the host community.
The recent Product Development Workshop was aimed to improve the knowledge of the participants on the National Ecotourism Strategy and Action Plan (NESAP) and Farm Tourism Law as well as the use of the Tourism Rapid Assessment Tool (TRAT) in measuring the readiness of the tourism products and destinations.
Benchmarked attractions in the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park included Dilakit waterfalls, Dicatian Lake Crocodile Sanctuary and Bird Watching, Dicatian Coral Reef Flats, Dipudu Beach and Resort all in Divilacan and Greggay’s Resort in Maconacon. Cultural immersion and local food appreciation are support experiences that will improve visitor take-aways.
For Northeast Coast Cagayan,the participants identified destinations in support of Palaui Island Tours like the Pineapple Farms for pick and pay farm experience and Boacag Waterfalls, while in Gonzaga the beaches of Matara and Tallag were selected.
These tourism products identified during the benchmarking trips will undergo product activation in the future through the conduct of various capacity building programs like seminars and workshops. It was recommended to the participants that the activities identified in the sites will form part of the programs of the LGUs to be identified Comprehensive Land Use Plans (CLUP).
Congressman Ramon Nolasco of the 1st District of Cagayan, co-sponsored the Northeast Coast Cagayan workshop and has been very supportive of DOT Product Development Programs as well as the Tourism Road Infrastructure Programs (TRIP).
In taking the lead in implementing Product Development Programs, DOT ensures that tourism products undergo the complete product development cycle from community preparation, product identification, product activation as well as marketing the tourism product.
DOT offers technical assistance in the conduct of Product Development Programs for local government units who consider tourism industry as one of their important economic drivers.