Oslob’s tuki tour operators to visit Donsol

The butanding or whale shark is the biggest fi...

By Carmel Loise Matus
Cebu Daily News
7:52 am | Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Oslob and Cebu tourism officials will go to  Donsol in Sorsogon province next month to see for themselves “best practices” in whale shark tourism.

“Although they have different activities in Donsol, the   operators here will learn something from the procedures there. What is common for Donsol and Oslob will be seen,” said Rowena Montecillo, regional director of the Department of Tourism.

Oslob is now calling their boat paddlers “interaction officers,” like Donsol that has “Butanding Interaction Officers”.

An increase in visitor rates  that took effect April 15 in Oslob, especially for diving and snorkeling, has not affected sales much, said Oslob  tourism officer Elizabeth Tabasa-Benologa. But she said they are still monitoring the trend.

About 200 to 300 visitors came on weekdays for whale shark watching, the usual crowd, but there were fewer divers and swimmers, said Oslob Mayor Ronald Guaren.

Guaren said  this was the purpose of   the price increase—to control the influx of visitors and reduce  chances of  direct contact with the whale sharks.

“People who want to go snorkeling and diving have decreased,” said Guaren.

The DOT conducted a week-long training for boatmen and Bantay Dagat personnel for 50 participants.

Original article.

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