Local officials out to turn Puerto Galera into top tourist spotBy Amy R. Remo |Philippine Daily Inquirer
To boost tourist arrivals, the local government of Puerto Galera has started a campaign to turn the island into a top travel destination by 2020.
Part of this year’s campaign, dubbed “Puerto Galera, the heart of Asia,” is the 2nd Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival, which is expected to draw at least 3,000 foreign and local visitors and generate at least P20 million in revenue.
European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines president Hubert d’Aboville, prime organizer of the festival along with Miro Grgic of Volume Unit Entertainment, said the festival to be held next month would be one way to turn “Puerto Galera as a prime tourist destination in the country… The festival itself has the potential to become the biggest of its kind in Asia.”
Last year, Puerto Galera attracted 250,000 tourists to the music and arts festival.
This year, organizers expect more tourists from Europe, the United States, Australia, Japan, and South Korea to troop to the festival, along with local tourists wanting to spend the initial days of summer in Malasimbo, d’Aboville said.
“The festival will tremendously improve economic activity in Puerto Galera, which is heavily dependent on tourism,” he said.
When it opens on March 2, the three-day festival will be staged at the property of d’Aboville, which features a grass-terraced amphitheater 250 meters above sea level, allowing a good view of the Puerto Galera bay.
Some 300 bands and artists from the United States, France, Germany, Australia, United Kingdom and Japan will perform round-the-clock during the festival. Also, 18 top Filipino artists will showcase their works during the event.
The festival has garnered the support of the Department of Tourism and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.