THE province of Antique is eyeing to host spillover tourists from the newly reopened Boracay Island in Aklan.
Antique Governor Rhodora Cadiao said that with the opening of the Boracay Island, one of the popular tourism-drawers in Western Visayas, they hope to attract some of the tourists to also pass by their province.
“Boracay is now again enjoying the surge of tourists and we would like some of them to visit our province,” Cadiao said.
Boracay Island recently opened after the national government initiated a six-month rehabilitation program.
From February 1-28, 2019, guest arrivals in Boracay Island totaled 172,695, based on the data from Department of Tourism VI.
Of the number, 115,143 are non-Philippine residents, 52,872 are Philippine residents and 4,680 were overseas Filipinos.
The data only reflected the visitor arrivals in Boracay Island utilizing Caticlan as entry point.
Flord Nicson Calawag, former Provincial Tourism Officer and now president of Tibiao Calawag Ventures Inc., said they are now catering to at least five percent of the market from Boracay.
“Starting from December up to June, there is a peak season of tourists coming here in Antique. With the reopening of Boracay, were getting almost five percent market from Boracay,” he said.
Calawag added that long staying guests would come to Antique and experience the diversity of adventures, especially in Tibiao.
“Yung positioning ng Antique is really on eco-adventure. Our highlands and beaches are very close. We have a lot to offer from the Sira-an hot spring and Nogas Island in Anini-y, Aningalan Highland Strawberry Garden in San Remigio, various water sport activities in Tibiao, and to complete, we have the sea to summit experience in Mararison, Island,” Calawag said.
Cadiao said they want to maintain the status of Antique as the “rising star of Western Visayas”.
“It is a province where the sky meets the mountain, and the mountains meet the sea. Now, it is being called as the rising star of Western Visayas, we want to maintain the status, we want to get our own slice of heaven in tourism,” she stressed.
In line with their goal, Cadiao said they are now focusing on their campaign to keep highways in the province clean.
The governor underscored the need to clean the highways since these are the gateways of the visitors.
“You go around Panay and Antique has one of the cleanest highways. I always tell my barangay captains, and barangay officials to clean up the barangay roads and not only the highways. I feel na kapag malinis ang probinsiya, malinis din ang pag-govern mo dito,” she said.