Sulu To Become Like RP’s Boracay Resorts Or Thailand’s Phuket

September 16, 2007 at 6:34 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

One of the many white sands beach in Sulu province. Sulu is embarking on an ambitious tourism program that will make it like world-famous resorts similar to Phuket in Thailand. (Mindanao Examiner Photo Service)

SULU, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / 16 Sept) – Sulu province in the southern Philippines may soon become an island resort similar to Boracay in central Philippines or even Phuket in Thailand as part of a new tourism plan to lure Filipino and foreign visitors.

Governor Sakur Tan said they would convert some of Sulu’s islands and pristine beaches into resorts, complete with amenities and business centers and land and water vessels to transport holiday-makers.

“We wanted to develop Sulu into one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines and we are pursuing an ambitious program to promote tourism and also trade and investments,” Tan told reporters.

Tan said the plan to put up world-class resorts in Sulu would probably begin in 2008 and would take between one to two years to finish. “We are now working on this project,” he said.

Aside from Sulu’s white-sands beaches, Tan said the province also boasts of dive sites and is rich in marine resources.

Tan said Sulu would also begin shipping live marine products, such as groupers and lobsters and abalone to buyers in Manila and Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan.

He said that there is plan to put up an air cargo and passenger airlines in Sulu to further help local fishermen and cooperatives sell their products, from coffee beans to live marine animals.

“This is a long-term plan that will help many people and cooperatives in Sulu and eventually the province will become a center of marine trade in the southern Philippines. We can supply huge marine products to buyers,” Tan said.

He said the province is also abundant in copra and exotic fruits, such as durian and mangosteen berries and has a steady supply of high-grade abaca ropes.

Just this month, Sulu shipped out about six tons of durian and mangosteen to markets in Manila as part of the so-called “Invest in Peace and Prosperity – Fruits of Hope program.”

The international nongovernmental organization, Asia-America Initiative, headed by Albert Santoli, has supported the program and promised to help even more by tapping other NGOs to help support the peace and development in Sulu.

Sen. Richard Gordon said the government is putting more efforts in Sulu and other areas in Mindanao to help farmers sell their products.

President Gloria Arroyo in August ordered a “humanitarian and development offensive” in Jolo island.

Sen. Loren Legarda has filed a bill proposing the creation of a special economic zone and free port in Jolo island to promote and hasten the industrial and economic development of the area.

The SSEZA shall be provided with transportation, telecommunication, and other facilities needed to attract legitimate and productive foreign investments, generates linkage with industries and create employment opportunities for the people of the province, she said. (Mindanao Examiner)

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