LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 20 (PNA) – Bicol regional tourism director Maria Ong-Ravanilla is very jubilant and expecting the newest currency to further rouse potentials for eco-tourism industry of the Bicol region
“The P100 bills featuring ‘Butanding’ (Whale shark) and Mayon Volcano is a very good tool for promotion. We expect that its output is more tourists for Bicol in 2011 onwards,” Ravanilla told the Philippines News Agency.
However, Regional Development Chairman and Albay Governor Joey Salceda told PNA on Monday that featuring them on peso bills is way too far from cushioning the anticipated economic impact to Bicol, of the 250-percent toll fee hike on the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx).
Nevertheless, Salceda expressed gratitude to President Benigno Aquino III and the leadership of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). “We are most grateful to the BSP for featuring Mayon Volcano and the butanding in the more prolific currency - P100,” he said.
As early as May, BSP authorities have indicated to Gov Salceda about this positive development. “Surely, it is a big boost to our tourism promotion effort. Thank you to the entire Monetary Board,” Salceda said.
“Relentless efforts to push it in the international tourism community via the new seven wonders of the world, postcards and websites further highlighted by the recent development is so welcome that every Albayano is openly elated about it,” Salceda told the PNA upon learning that the volcano’s picture would be used in a new peso bill design.
“I truly thank the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas chief and am immensely pleased by this development,” he said.
For her part, Dorothy Colle of the Albay Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office said featuring Mayon Volcano on the Philippine currency will be an opportunity to promote the province as well.
She added that local and foreign tourists will become more familiar with where Mayon is and it may boost the province's tourist arrivals of 235,000, a far second to Camarines Sur's roughly one million tourist arrivals in 2009.
"It's a privilege, a testimony that indeed Mayon and Butanding are both premier tourist attractions of the country," Colle said. (PNA)