Negros Oriental’s peaceful and serene surroundings enhanced by its distinct natural, historical and cultural edifices, make for a perfect retirement destination, as well as a tourist attraction.
“This is where you’d want to live,” Undersecretary Katherine Chloe de Castro of the Department of Tourism said during last weekend’s Buglasan Festival.
The 10-day Buglasan Festival of Festivals is the summit of celebrations, bringing together the year’s finest celebrations of Negros Oriental’s 20 towns and five cities.
De Castro said the tranquil locality and genteel people perfectly suits DOT’s thrust to promote accessibility and tourism for all.
“Under the Duterte administration, the work we do at DOT contributes meaningfully to the objective of inclusivity, encompassing to all sectors of society, including the poor rural and urban folks, people with disability, elderly, youth and underprivileged Filipinos,” de Castro said.
Negros Oriental’s visitor arrivals have constantly grown over the years, from a total of 260,312 in 2011 to 625,295 in 2015, bulk of which are domestic tourists coming to the provincial capital Dumaguete City.
Of the total arrivals last year, 517,016 were domestic travelers while 104,926 were foreigners and 3,353 were balikbayans, DOT data showed.
At least 490,046 of the 2015 total came to Dumaguete City.
Nicknamed “The City of Gentle People,” Dumaguete City was rated by Forbes magazine as the “fourth best city in the world to live in” while readers of the New York Times voted it as one of the top five cities for its healthy and low cost of living.
“In line with the DOT’s Policy Direction make sure that we preserve the beauty of our destinations, highlight the best of our culture, and project the best image of our country and our people on the world stage,” she added.
Governor Roel Ragay Degamo of Negros Oriental also said to be conducive to artistic, scholarly, and entrepreneurial pursuits, prompting him to establish a foundation for culture and the arts for nurturing the God-given talents of the local youth in music and theater.
“Negros Oriental now ranked as second among the provinces of Central Visayas in terms of the number of domestic and international visitor-arrivals. Our strategy is to complement each other and not compete with each other in terms of the tourism products and services of the different destinations in the Philippines,” he said.