Tourists are seen going on a river raft ride in Bugang River, Pandan, Antique. PHOTO BY TWO2TRAVEL.COM

SAN JOSE De BUENAVISTA, Antique  – Antique is offering experiential tourism to cruise passengers should they visit the province.

Antique provincial tourism officer Jose Ramlo Villaluna, in an interview Thursday, said they are preparing activities for cruise passengers who will dock at Lipata Port in Culasi town.

“The Department of Tourism (DOT) has identified Antique as among the provinces in Western Visayas that will be prioritized as a cruise ship destination and so we are preparing for it now,” he said.

Villaluna said a mock tour at Lipata Port in Culasi, the northern town of the province and nearer to Aklan province where Boracay island is located, is slated on June 7 and 8.

The mock tour will be participated by DOT officials, private individuals, tour operators, and from the transport service, he said.

“Upon the cruise ship arrival, there would be a welcome committee, cultural dances and the giving of leis and giveaways as what we are really going to do in actuality,” he added.

Villaluna further said the experiential tourism allows tourist to have firsthand experience in pottery making, make the famous “bandi” made of muscovado sugar with peanut topping, and join in the ritual dance in the towns of Culasi and in the neighboring Pandan and Libertad towns.

These towns also have alluring destinations, such as the white-sand Mararison island in Culasi, the country’s cleanest Bugang River and Malumpati Cold Spring in Pandan, and the Libertad known for its weaving industry and as the Tuna Pathway.

Villaluna said after the mock tour, cruise operators will double check the preparations and start the negotiation for the visit.

“We are very hopeful that after the visit of cruise operators, Antique could finally be opened as a cruise ship destination,” the tourism officer added. (PNA)

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