TACLOBAN CITY, June 9 (PNA) –- This city came up with interesting and new tourism activities to encourage tourists to stay longer in the regional capital.

Being the gateway of Eastern Visayas where the major airport, the Daniel Z Romualdez Airport is located, this city is always the first stop for tourists before heading to southern part of Leyte to dive or to Samar Island up north to explore nature.

But this tourism potential is not fully utilized as tourists would only stay here for a night and travel to other places in the region to experience a getaway of their choice.

“We need to offer new tourism products especially now that the fiesta is coming. Many visitors will come to the city to witness the festivals. They will look for activities in the city that we are ready to serve,” said Jadway Go, co-owner of Aquamomentum operation.

Aquamomentum offers a cruise at Cancabato Bay to San Juanico Strait under the picturesque San Juanico Bridge, using speed boats and jet ski. The jump off point is at the Leyte Park Hotel.

Itinerary includes speed boat and jet ski ride along Cancabato Bay for a view of Tacloban from the bay, stopover at the St. Martin’s Island to get a closer glimpse of San Juanico Bridge and a meal at San Juan by the Bay in Sta. Rita, Samar.

Other activities are banana boat ride, wakeboarding, viper and snorkeling at Cancabato Bay where marine life such as corals, juvenile fish and seaweeds has already regenerated after supertyphoon Yolanda’s destruction.

Aquamomentum has a new cruise or dive boat that carries up to 26 passengers for those who want to visit Kalangaman Island in Palompon, Leyte and Sambawan Island in Maripipi, Biliran.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes said that this new tourism product is unique as this is the first offering in the region.

This new product will not only benefit Tacloban-based operators, but also residents of Sta Rita town that is the last part of the cruise where foods are served by women’s organization of San Juan village.

“For one, this gives our tourist choices of what kind of experience they want. A simple cruise with their family and friends or an exciting cruise that offers various water activities,” Tiopes added.

The official added that aside from tourist and visitors, this new attraction will also provide or generate job and livelihoods.

“What we appreciate with them is they link with people’s organization instead of offering their own dining in one of the island at San Juanico Strait,” Tiopes added.

Tiopes is confident that with this new tourism product, the region will be able to surpass last year’s 1.04 million tourist arrivals. More than half of these tourist visited and stay in the city, according to DOT. (PNA)