Visit Samal Island program is bigger this year

Apr. 22, 2012

Visit Samal Island program is bigger this year

DAVAO CITY, April 20 (PIA) — A bigger Visit Samal Island (VSI) program is set this year with multi-sectoral partners for the event.

Cleto Gales, Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) administrator, announced that the city is only allocating a budget of PHP 250,000 (USD 5,852).  He added the local government partners with the different sectors particularly the private businesses in pushing the program.  The local government links with the Department of Tourism (DOT)-XI and the private sector tourism stakeholders, the Samal City Resort Owners Association.

The usual month-long event, VSI campaign is now extended up to three months or until July.  It is marked with cultural presentations, sporting events, beach parties, concerts and other forms of merriment.

The VSI this year which banners the tagline, “Where life is fun,” is the second staging of the unique marketing strategy that started last year.  It aimed of increasing tourist arrivals and putting Igacos in the map as the destination of choice for local and foreign tourists alike.

According to Gregorio Boy Sarmiento, the private sector representative in the VSI executive committee, they have created many first-time events which would draw in more tourists.  Among these are the Davao Gulf Line Fishing contest, Miss Body Beautiful pageant and a Level III shooting competition.

From May 4 to 6, the island will host an environment, arts, and music festival dubbed as the Pigkayasan Festival.

The VSI 2012 formally opens this April 21 with a grand motorcade around Samal Island and a silent drill by the visiting cadets of the Philippine Military Academy.

Jennifer Cariaga, tourism officer of the city, said they are hoping to build on the success of last year’s VSI. “According to DOT data there was a 64 percent increase in tourism traffic compared to the same period last year,” she said citing the positive effect of last year’s campaign.

“We are targeting a 100 percent increase in tourism arrivals,” Cariaga added, hoping that a much bigger VSI would bring in more tourists to Samal.  (RIGA-PIA 11)

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