Kayaking in the Philippines
The Department of Tourism or DOT has launched kayaking as the latest attraction in the Philippines, to drive more tourists to the country, despite the global economic downturn. Faced with the challenge of drawing at least 3 million tourists this year, the DOT has promoted new products such as bird watching, adventure tourism, and eco-tourism highlighting the natural wonders of the Philippines.
In the recent Philippine Travel Exchange 2009, kayaking adventure was introduced to major foreign buyers as an attraction in beaches, lagoons, rivers, lakes, springs, and fjords. “In a country of 7,107 islands, one can only imagine the infinite possibilities of kayaking adventure. Exploring the span of our clear waters surely opens travelers to the unique splendor of our country,” Tourism Secretary Ace Durano said in a statement.
A short video on kayaking in the Philippines was presented to top travel buyers from Asia and Europe, with delegates comprised of tour operators, travel agencies, retailers, corporate planners, alternative tours companies, and incentive travel firms.
“Kayaking allows tourists inside secret coves, inlets, channels that lead to stunning views of our mangrove forests, limestone cliffs, unspoiled coastlines and other exciting mysteries around our islands,” said Eduardo Jarque Jr., Tourism Undersecretary for Planning and Promotions.
A book entitled, Kayak Philippines, was also handed out to participants. Apart from kayaking tips and basic paddling symbols, the book showed top sites and trails, which include, Pinacanauan River, Hundred Islands, Cavite-Corregidor-Bataan, Caramoan Peninsula, Northern Palawan, Cebu, Bohol, Samar, Siargao Island, and Samal Island.
The Cavite-Corregidor-Bataan features a historic kayaking trail, starting at the entrance of the Manila Bay, passing Cavite, and then Corregidor Island which bore witness to World War II. Tourists can opt to disembark on the island and enjoy a walking tour of sites in Bataan including Mt. Samat, the Shrine of Valor.
The Caramoan Peninsula offers a view of limestones, rugged coastlines, and white sand-ringed islands, complemented by a stunning view of underwater marine life by snorkeling around shallow waters.
For the high-spending market, the department offers Luxury Kayaking in Palawan. Known for its idyllic beaches, lagoons and caves, Palawan enjoins travelers to kayak in El Nido and Coron.
Cebu draws attention to paddling in Hilutungan Island and Marine Sanctuary, Sulpa Island, Olango Island and Mactan Island for moonlight kayaking.
Bohol, the frontier of ecotourism, lists several sites for kayaking which include, Banacon Island, Pandanon Island, Dumog and Ubay Islands, Abatan River, and Punta Cruz, which teem with mangrove forest and sandbars. Lagoon moonlight paddling is also offered in Panglao Island.
In Samar, the unspoiled waters of Marabut, and Sohoton Natural Bridge Park are featured. While Siargao has Guyam Island, Sohoton Cove, and Del Carmen Lagoon. Samal Island in Davao is likewise a kayak site, promising reefs, mountains and caves along the way.
Stanie Soriano, corporate relations manager of Philippine Convention and Visitors Corporation, said these paddling spots can be availed through several tour packages such as the New Adventure-Kayak Hundred Islands, Historic Manila Bay Kayaking Adventures; Luxury Kayaking Safari in Bacuit Bay, Palawan, and Bohol Extreme Packages: Kayamping (Kayak and Camping).