Saturday, December 21, 2013

Tindog Capiz! Invites Everyone to Become a Voluntourists

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Travelers planning a trip to Capiz can now help improve communities while enjoying its destinations.

The Provincial Government of Capiz, in cooperation with the Department of Tourism – Western Visayas Region, launched the voluntourism campaign Tindog Capiz! to allow visitors a hands-on experience in the rehabilitation efforts following the devastation caused by the deadly Supertyphoon Yolanda.

Capiz is one of the provinces severely hit by the storm which has left the Visayas and Southern Luzon with more than 7,000 people dead or missing and damaged properties.

Tindog Capiz! will showcase the province’s top destinations like indigenous people’s communities, heritage sites, pilgrim sites, and ecotourism sites. It will also feature activities that benefit various sectors like tree and mangrove planting, schools and houses building, feeding programs, livelihood training, and many others.

“Voluntourists may register at and be accredited by the Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office who will refer the visitors to their specifc sites to do their chosen activity,” DOT Western Visayas Regional Director Helen Catalbas said.

She added that the campaign invites balikbayans, overseas workers, international and domestic tourists, academic institutions as well as private companies and government agencies doing their outreach programs, to have a more meaningful and memorable trip in Capiz.

Meanwhile, Tourism Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. said it is a good opportunity to rebuild tourism in the grassroots level.

“We are looking at tourism to provide a means for the people deeply affected by the typhoon to carry on with their lives. Tourism has always been an industry that brings livelihood to people, especially in these regions,” the Secretary added.

Similarly, the DOT’s Bangon Tours recovery program was recently launched through the Tourism Promotions Board, the department’s marketing arm and in partnership with private tour operators. It aims to provide economic stimulus to the industry by encouraging continued visitation by both international and local tourists. Tour packages booked through participating tour operators allow a certain percentage of the cost to be transferred to selected non-government organizations (NGOs) currently doing rehabilitation work in the affected areas.

“The disaster has truly affected the industry but the Department and our partners in government, industry and civil society, we all remain committed in making tourism an effective means for social mobility and economic growth,” the Tourism chief added.

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