In a bid to further spur tourism development in Mindanao, Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco inaugurated the first Tourist Rest Area (TRA) in Mindanao situated in a strategic location in Manolo Fortich town, Bukidnon province.
“We have inaugurated the first TOURIST REST AREA in Mindanao in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon pursuant to President Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos, Jr.’s vision to transform Philippine tourism through infrastructure, innovation, and equal opportunities for tourism development nationwide, focusing on the enhancement of the overall tourist experience, among others,” Frasco explained.
This is the second TRA that was formally handed over to a local government unit (LGU) by the DOT, next to Medellin, Cebu in July.
The DOT and Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) commenced the groundbreaking of TRAs across the Philippines, pursuant to the directive of President Ferdinand Marcos. Jr. to improve the country’s tourism infrastructure and enhance the overall experience of tourists.
The tourism chief was joined by TIEZA Chief Operating Officer (COO) Mark Lapid, Bukidnon Governor Rogelio Neil Roque, Vice Governor Clive Quiño, Mayor Rogelio Quiño, Vice Mayor Reynaldo Bagayas, Jr., 4th District Representative Laarni Lavin Roque, DOT Undersecretaries Shahlimar Hofer Tamano and Ferdinand Jumapao, and Regional Director Marie Elaine Unchuan during the ribbon cutting ceremony.
“Bukidnon’s tourism potential has barely been scratched.”
“Bukidnon’s tourism potential has barely been scratched. Our province offers the top ten of the country’s highest mountain peaks. Today, we wish to express our special thanks to Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco and the Department of Tourism for giving us this tourist service center and rest area,” Roque said.
“This infrastructure project will be a great asset to the development of Bukidnon’s tourism industry.”
“This infrastructure project will be a great asset to the development of Bukidnon’s tourism industry,” the governor added.
After the ribbon cutting led by officials, a leaf art “key” created by local town artist Wilmar Sumahoy was hanged at the TRA site as a testament of the Department’s unwavering commitment to the enhancement of the overall tourist experience in the country.
The newly inaugurated Tourist Rest Area (TRA) in Mindanao was built at a strategic area which will particularly cater to tourists traveling to and from the municipalities of Manolo Fortich, Impasug-ong, Sumilao, and Libona in Bukidnon.
It features an information center, clean restrooms, lactation room for breastfeeding mothers, lounge and charging stations, a dining area, and a pasalubong center that showcases local products from Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) of Bukidnon such as coffee, beaded items, and more.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) since last year broke ground on ten TRAs nationwide, in destinations such as Samal Island in Davao del Norte; the towns of Carcar, Carmen, Medellin (inaugurated in July), and Moalboal in Cebu; Dauis in Bohol; Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte; Roxas in Palawan; and Baguio City.
Frasco announced that fifteen more will be added to the DOT’s roster of TRAs this year.
“This is the 2nd of 10 we are inaugurating this year, with 15 more Tourist Rest Areas in the pipeline,” the tourism head concluded.