Samal Island fast emerging as Davao's ecotourism hub

Subscribe Now April 11, 2013 at 10:46pm

The Island Garden City of Samal is fast emerging as the ecotourism hub of the Davao region, with the number of its resorts exceeding 70 and infrastructure development now going in full swing.

Region 11 Director Art Boncato of the Department of Tourism (DOT) describes Samal as now an “ecotourism portal” with white sand beaches, waterfalls, caves, marine sanctuaries, giant clam enclave and world-renowned fruit bats, all attracting an ever-increasing number of foreign and domestic visitors.

Boncato made this announcement at the recent launch of Visit Samal Island Year 3 campaign by the DOT-Davao, the resort owners, and the local government.

Practically confirming Boncato’s assessment, Samal Mayor Aniano Antalan reveals that over 300,000 tourists spent at least a night on the island last year.

Antalan and Boncato led the members of the Samal City Resort Owners Association (Scroa) in bringing the Visit Samal Island campaign to its third year.

“This year’s campaign involves eco-adventure activities organized by the members of the Scroa,” Boncato says.

The Visit Samal Island campaign was started by the DOT in 2011 to introduce Samal’s unique brand of island experience to the domestic and foreign tourism markets.

“The Island Garden City of Samal is undoubtedly the prime face of tourism in the Davao region. It (Samal) is definitely the island garden destination where travelers can grab a quick summer escape,” Boncato stresses.

Constituting the region are Davao City, Davao del Norte and Sur, Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley, with the Samal Island literally appearing like a crown jewel in their midst inside the Davao Gulf, turning it into nature’s prized aquatic and terrestrial showcase beautifully framed by the surrounding mainland.

“From Samal’s beautiful beach fronts, nature lovers can head inward to the Hagimit Falls, or watch some two million fruit bats flocking out of the Monfort Caves, or view the 3,000 giant clams in our marine sanctuary that has been opened to the public only recently,” Boncato said in highlighting the island’s biodiversity from deep under the water to high above the land.

The launch also included reports on the island’s circumferential road project being implemented under the tourism road infrastructure program of the DOT and the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Another P250 million has been allocated for the project this year, on top of the almost same amount in 2012.

At the same time, members of the Scroa are upgrading their facilities and services to meet the requirements of the global market, the environment, and the local government, particularly with the anticipated influx of visitors from all over the country and the world this summer.


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