The Provincial Tourism Office (PTO) has urged the local government units (LGUs) in Negros Occidental to formulate their respective tourism codes.
Supervising Tourism Operations Officer Cristine Mansinares said a city or municipality with its own code can encourage more developments, stressing the provincial government is currently putting emphasis on local economic development with focus on tourism and investments.
Recently, the PTO conducted a two-day writeshop aimed at providing assistance and opportunity for LGUs in crafting a tourism code.
“The tourism code harmonizes the investment and environmental codes as well as the province’s development plan,” Mansinares said.
She said the tourism code will provide a guide for LGUs to encourage more investors and will standardize the industry services and accreditation process.
So far, only the LGUs of Bacolod and Sipalay have their own tourism codes.
Mansinares said that through the writeshop, LGUs without tourism code were given a template already reviewed by the PTO.
After tourism officers of different LGUs met with the stakeholders, the draft of the tourism code reviewed by their respective local chief executives will be submitted on February 17, and the submission of the final copy will be before May 9.
“The tourism code is also vital in creating business-friendly environment. It will guide LGUs and businesses on how to operate and manage development and control future destruction, if there is,” Mansinares said.
The province’s tourism development plan also provides emphasis on LGUs which need infrastructure support.
With the newly-created Negros Island Region, Mansinares said they hope that LGUs will be provided roads leading to tourism attractions.
“Aside from proper signages, the province is also working on this year the setting up of comfort rooms for stop-overs in various tourism-key areas within the six districts,” Mansinares added.