Samar Province Unveils New Tourism Initiatives to Boost Local Economy

SAMAR — On Tuesday, the provincial government of Samar launched three new tourism circuits as part of the 'Spark Samar' campaign, aiming to enhance the region's appeal to both local and international tourists. The launch event was held in Basey town, highlighting Samar's commitment to using tourism as a lever for economic development.

According to Philippines News Agency, the new offerings under the Spark Samar campaign include the Tandaya Trail Tourism Circuit, the Mabaysay Cultural River Cruise, and the Secret Kitchens of Samar Gastronomy Tour. "These initiatives will showcase Samar’s natural beauty, cultural heritage, and culinary richness, enhancing the province’s tourism profile beyond the Eastern Visayas region," said Tan during the launch.

The Tandaya Trail, named after the ancient name of the province, offers tourists a diverse experience that includes the breathtaking Sohoton Caves and Natural Bridge, the traditional mat weaving in Basey, the scenic farm landscapes and rock formations in Marabut, and exquisite seafood near the iconic San Juanico Bridge in Sta. Rita.

The Mabaysay Cultural River Cruise provides a journey along the Cadac-an River, also known as the Golden River, featuring stops at various cultural sites along the way. Meanwhile, the Secret Kitchens of Samar Gastronomy Tour allows visitors to engage in cooking demonstrations, meet local culinary experts, and taste authentic Samar dishes that have been handed down through generations.

Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco, who attended the launch, emphasized the importance of these initiatives in providing immersive and sustainable Philippine tourism experiences. "These offerings highlight our destinations’ potential to offer meaningful and authentic experiences that can contribute significantly to our national tourism goals," Frasco stated.

She also noted that tourism is the second-top economic growth driver in the Philippines, supporting at least 5.3 million jobs. In line with this, the Department of Labor and Employment announced at the event a grant of PHP3.5 million in livelihood support to seven tourism worker associations in Samar, further supporting the province's tourism-driven economic strategy.