The Department of Tourism (DOT) Region 4A comprising the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon (Calabarzon) has officially launched the tourism circuits of Green Corridor Initiative (GCI) in a bid to boost domestic tourism recovery and response in safe travel. The program was launched at Lima Park Hotel in Malvar, Batangas in December 18 with local executives and tourism officers of 19 LGUs that are part of the tourism circuits together with 5 provincial tourism officers of Calabarzon, association heads of travel agencies and tour operators, and invited media.
Green Corridor is DOT’s initiative to bundle tourism spots across municipalities and cities in Calabarzon together in a “travel bubble” to open their borders and linking each destination while maintaining health and safety protocols.
Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat, in her speech, spoke of her department’s continuing commitment to promote Calabarzon as a region of fun, sustainable, and safe destinations for all ages considering its proximity to Metro Manila.
“The DOT is repositioning the Philippines as a safe, fun, and competitive tourism destination following the pandemic and these provinces are certainly prime examples of exciting destinations that are easily accessible from the National Capital Region,” Sec. Romulo said.
In drawing up the domestic tourism program, GCI has resulted in the clustering of selected towns and cities of each province offering specific tourism products with the adoption of strict health and safety protocols.
DOT 4A OIC Director Marites Castro, who led the launching ceremonies, mentioned in her speech that the identification and selection of the tourism products will be prioritized based on its readiness and quality under the guidance set by the National Tourism Development Plan of 2016-2022. Tour operators and travel agencies will come up with tour packages upon consultation with the DOT regional offices and LGUs.
“We really want to help destinations that are ready to receive guests. We are ready that’s why we invited local tour operators to craft packages that are affordable to domestic tourists,” Castro said in an interview.
In creating tour packages, Calabarzon presented 5 tourism circuits.
Cavite features the Metro Tagaytay Tourism Circuit where Tagaytay City and the towns of Maragondon, Silang, and Alfonso are centered towards health and wellness, and farm tourism. Offered in this circuit are the famous Tagaytay Ridge tour, a visit to Gourmet Farm in Silang or agri-tourism immersion in Luntian Republika in Alfonso with side trips at Ginger Bread House and Reptiland Adventure. A Maragondon river cruise is also one of the offerings.
In Laguna, SaRiLiNa (San Pablo, Rizal, Liliw, Nagcarlan) Tourism Circuit has San Pablo that offers Lake Pandin for swimming, camping and boating while Casa San Pablo and Sulyap Gallery Cafe will get you to enjoy heirloom dishes. Rizal town has TANAW Park to commune with nature. Nagcarlan opens its gates to the well-known Underground Cemetery, and Liliw for town’s history along with culinary tourism and shopping.
Batangas Bayside Tourism Circuit has the towns of Nasugbu, Calatagan, and San Juan for its sun and beach, nature and adventure, and diving while an opportunity to travel back in time is in store when visiting its well-preserved ancestral houses at the Heritage Village of Taal town.
Rizal features the Faith, Food, Art, Adventure and Nature of Antipolo City and the towns of Angono, Taytay, and Cainta. The FFAAN circuit defines the destination as a touch base with nature, a site for pilgrimage, a town rich in artistic and cultural heritage, a shopping haven for dresses, textiles, woodworks and furniture, and taste of its native delicacies.
Quezon highlights the REINA Tourism Circuit which has the towns of Real, Infanta, and General Nakar offering nature adventure, beach and surfing. Real offers the nearest surfing spots for beginners during a quick weekend trip the same way a more adventurous engagement is river tubing through a 5-kilometer stretch of wild water current in Barangay Tanauan. Infanta pitches nature and culture attractions to its mangrove eco-park while opens your palate to some culinary delicacies. On the other hand, General Nakar awaits adventure seekers to explore its cave and beaches.