Siargao Province, May 7, 2009 – The Department of Tourism (DOT) is co-hosting this year’s Invitational Game Fishing Tournament here today, together with the First District of Surigao del Norte.
Ace Durano, Secretary of Tourism opens this landmark event with Her Excellency President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, together with Rep. Francisco Matugas of the First District of Surigao, and attended by local and foreign dignitaries.
“With our specialized tourism activities, the country is ready to be positioned as a significant game fishing venue. Blessed with a prime location, the Philippines is ready to welcome enthusiasts of this unique sport,” said Durano.
Considered as a form of recreational fishing as well as a legitimate sport, game fishing targets to catch the largest bony fish in the open sea, a timely initiative as the country’s tourism industry continues to go for niche marketing to get a ‘big catch’ of arrivals for 2009.
Durano reiterated, “Domestic travel is a key component in the country. We continually encourage activity in local communities, and with events like this enjoining both local and international delegates, we are assured that tourism growth is on a very solid foundation.”
The scenic coastal town of Pilar, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte is host to second run of this international tournament, expecting to draw numerous local and foreign anglers from Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Russia, Taiwan and the United States.
Undersecretary for Tourism Planning and Promotions Eduardo Jarque, Jr remarked, “This will certainly boost Surigao’s tourism industry, which is also known as a surfing destination. Breathtaking views of coastlines and sunsets and a wide array of activities continue to captivate travellers the world over.”
Matugas agreed, “Cloud Nine, the largest mangrove forest in the country at 8,760 hectares, pristine white sand beaches, and tropical marine life-rich coral reefs, continue to attract a huge volume of tourists each year.”
Resolute that tourism is the prime vehicle for development in the island and of the whole Province of Surigao del Norte, he added, “With enhancement of the area’s travel opportunities, tourism will be a major contributor to the upliftment of the community’s livelihood.”