Should CamSur’s tourism be anchored on CWC?
The strong reaction (“Report on tourists inaccurate, biased—Camsur gov,” Opinion, 3/15/14) of young and new Camarines Sur Gov. Migz Villafuerte to the news report “Camarines Sur tourism figures down” (Across the Nation, 2/24/14), written by Juan Escandor Jr., was clearly in defense of the provincial government’s efforts to sustain the operations of CamSur Watersports Complex (CWC) which has brought numerous economic benefits in the past under the able leadership of former governor LRay Villafuerte.
Governor Villafuerte was correct in pointing out the inaccuracies in Escandor’s report and his bias which was apparent in the report’s presentation of incomplete figures which distorted the truth and could have easily misled readers. Had Escandor took it upon himself to be more diligent in securing the updated data from his source, Department of Tourism regional director Maria Ravanilla, his report would have been spared the criticism.
On the other hand, our governor could have substantiated his accusation of inaccurate and biased reporting had he exercised prudence by providing and releasing the data for the last quarter of 2013, as this could have disproved the claim that there was a decline in the number of tourists. It is unfortunate though that the regional tourism office did not have the data at the time of the interview.
But before we are further drawn into a heated exchange of views, to me, the real issue here is: Should Camarines Sur’s tourism development be dependent on CWC or should it be based on a comprehensive provincial tourism development and promotion program? I ask this as someone who aspires to see Camarines Sur persist in its drive to become a major tourist destination in the country.
I hope the provincial government can soon begin laying the groundwork for such a program.
—KRISTINE R. LIZARDO, MSHRM, faculty member, Tourism Department, Ateneo de Naga University
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