The Department of Tourism (DOT) expressed its support for the Sustainable Tourism Development Project (STDP) to be launched in Coron and El Nido in Palawan this year which aims to draw more visitors and hasten their tourism recovery.
The STDP the five-year project will cover urban infrastructure, ecosystems improvement, and enterprise development. It is an initiative under the Transforming Communities Towards Resilient, Inclusive, and Sustainable Tourism (TouRIST) program of the DOT to ensure the tourism resiliency of the country’s prime destinations and a product of the collaboration among the DOT, the provincial government of Palawan, the municipalities of Coron and El Nido, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the STDP is expected to be launched by third quarter of 2021 and will run until 2026.
“Like all initiatives of the DOT, it will need the cooperation and collaboration from our partners in government and the private sector to ensure its success,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said during her dialogue with stakeholders in Palawan over the week.
“I hope that the DOT can continue to count on your support to power our common journey to recovery and realize a better normal for the tourism sector, not only in Palawan but throughout the nation,” Puyat added.
El Nido and Coron, which are among the top favorite destinations in the Philippines, reopened their doors for domestic tourists in November and December last year, respectively.
For Coron, Puyat said urban infrastructure projects will include water supply, sewerage system, drainage improvements, and urban beautification, while ecosystems component will focus on the restoration of four key ecotourism sites, capacity building for marine protected area management, and alternative livelihoods.
“The STDP will help build the capacity of local stakeholders to protect and conserve Coron’s natural beauty and biodiversity and ensure that tourism benefits the local communities,” Puyat said.
For El Nido, she said the STDP targets to make its tourism development more sustainable and inclusive, with projects focusing on improvements to the town’s drainage, landfill development, ecosystem-based tourism site management, and enterprise and skills development.