Saturday, March 8, 2014
Resort and Hotel Owners Getting Ready for Caving Congress
The other day I attended a meeting for hotel and resort owners in the town of Boac, Marinduque, Philippines. The meeting was called by the Municipality of Boac in coordination with the Provincial government of the province of Marinduque. The 14th National Caving Congress will be held from April 10 to 14 in Boac. There will be around 200 attendees expected from local, national and international cave enthusiasts and their families.
The meeting was scheduled at 1:30PM at the third floor of Boac Municipal Building . Most of the hotel and resort owners or their representatives were present on time except for three owners that arrived at 2PM. As expected the meeting did not start as scheduled ( Filipino time). But I was delighted the meeting started at 2PM only 30 minutes late. The organizers requested the owners to bring with them the available packages of accommodation for their venue for the duration of the meeting, including rates, amenities and rooms availability. In that meeting I met two non-tagalog speaking owners. One is a French Canadian and the other is Dutch. The hotel owned by the Dutchman is still under construction, but will be ready by April 1 in time for the Caving Congress. He will name his hotel, Amsterdam Palace. The hotel has no website yet, but I promise to help him create a site at blogger.com before April 1.
One issue mentioned during the meeting was the completion of the Marinduque Airport. It was mentioned that the province will be lucky if the airport construction will be done by July or August this year(hopefully not next year).
The Caving Congress will feature only 4 caves in the province, although there are over 100 caves in the province of various sizes including one with a subterranean river system located in San Isidro, Santa Cruz. It was also mentioned that there is now a private tour company in Boac offering several day tour packages ranging from 1800 to 2700 pesos per person which includes lunch and merienda. The privately owned Bathala Cave will not be in the tour, since it is not well maintained.
I reiterated that without air services, tourism will not thrived in Marinduque. One hotel owner commented that Marindque is so near from Manila but yet so far because of the absence of air transportation services to the island.