The city government here is diversifying its tourism offerings beyond surfing, especially during off-season, to keep visitors engaged when the waves are not suitable for this water sport.
In an interview Monday, City Information Office chief Rupert Ambil said that during the surfing off-season, tourists will be encouraged to explore neighboring towns renowned for their excellent surfing conditions.
Among these towns are Llorente and Guiuan. There are secret surf spots found between the two municipalities but known only to local surfing enthusiasts, adding an element of exclusivity to the surfing experience.
To maintain a vibrant tourism scene during the off-season, Borongan City has the “Fun Borongan” program, which aims to promote and market various sports activities that tourists can enjoy while visiting the city.
Newly added to the sports activities in the capital city of Eastern Samar is scuba diving.
The certification of a local travel and tour operator, Che Calacal, the owner of Che BudgetMate Travel and Tour, a Department of Tourism-accredited travel agency, to operate the first dive center in the province has paved the way for this exciting water activity, Ambil said.
“Not all other places are doing the same thing that we are doing, but we have to create opportunities for ourselves and for the people,” he said.
The city has identified dive spots in the island villages of Ando and Divinubo for scuba diving.
These sites have been assessed by a team from the city information office, city disaster risk reduction and management office, environment and natural resources office, agriculture office, tourism office, and the Philippine Coast Guard.
Ambil added that the city is actively pursuing hosting national events to maintain a lively tourism scene even during the off-season.
Included in this plan is hosting the national kiteboarding competition, building on the success of a recent kiteboarding clinic and evaluation in February at Baybay Beach, and the Swimjunkie Nationals, an open-water swimming competition.
He said positioning the city as a sports and adventure destination in Eastern Samar ensures a lively tourism scene that will help increase tourist arrivals and more tourism-related economic development. (PNA)