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Report on tourists inaccurate, biased-Camsur gov

/ 12:16 AM March 15, 2014

We are writing this letter to refute the news report “Camarines Sur tourism figures down” (Across the Nation, 2/24/14) written by Juan Escandor Jr.

The article is inaccurate and biased. Even Tourism Regional Director Maria Ravanilla can attest to this. For instance, the report says the number of tourists who visited Camarines Sur in 2013 declined, but it says the province has yet to submit its last quarter report for that year.

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And it’s not true that no events were held in the Camarines Sur Watersports Complex (CWC). On Nov. 8-10, 2013, the CWC King of Rails, an international wakeboarding competition, was successfully held at CWC. Among the contest’s participants were the world’s best wakeboarders and wakeskaters. Besides, a lot of foreign guests and tourists watched it, except that it was eclipsed in media reports on Supertyphoon “Yolanda,” which hit the Visayas on Nov. 8, 2013.

The provincial government is focusing on social media marketing to reach millions of tourists and customers. In fact, the Facebook and Instagram accounts of CWC has drawn a lot of followers, about 42,058 and 5,700 respectively.

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The provincial government has also launched the Winter Package, a weekly or monthly package catering to foreign tourists who want to escape the winter season in their countries and enjoy wakeboarding in a tropical setting. This has been reaping positive results and, in fact, has increased tourist arrivals in Camarines Sur. Escandor should visit CWC instead of writing stories without verifying his “facts.”

His misleading report put to waste the provincial government’s effort in promoting its tourism industry. Escandor should have asked our side on this issue.

It may be noted that Escandor has not written any positive article about Camarines Sur for the past three years; he has mostly reported on the rift in our family; now he is besmirching CWC. This biased reporting could be due to political vendetta: My father fired relatives of his from provincial government employment.

In the Aug. 15, 2013 issue of Inquirer, Escandor wrote that CWC had been closed. In fact, it was only the main cable that was closed for two weeks due to renovation; the rest of the amenities were open to the public. Escandor’s article led to cancellations in hotel bookings and caused us lost revenues.

—MIGUEL LUIS R. VILLAFUERTE,

governor, Camarines Sur

The reports were made without any malice or the intention to paint a negative picture of Camarines Sur. The public quarrels in the Villafuerte family in front of thousands of Camarines Sur constituents took on the color of a public scandal that national networks as well could not ignore during the election period.

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I have the audio recording and transcript of my interview with Director Ravanilla, on which the article titled “Camarines Sur tourism figures down” was based.

—JUAN ESCANDOR JR., correspondent, Inquirer Southern Luzon

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TAGS: Camarines Sur, Gov. Miguel Luis Villafuerte, letters to the editor, opinion, Tourism
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