Sta. Cruz Isle benchmarks good practices for eco-tourism

The Department of Tourism-9 has chosen the famed Sta. Cruz Island as the benchmark for good practices on eco-tourism management for Zamboanga Peninsula (Zampen) tourism officers and local government officials.

The DOT-9 commissioned a Sta. Cruz Island tour for the 50 Zampen officials who were participants to its Tourism Awareness Training held in Zamboanga City from Sept. 17-20, as a side activity for the 2-day confab.

The visit to the Island, facilitated by the Protected Area Management Office (PAMO) under the Office of the City Mayor, showcased the Island’s management activities to include the strict implementation of environmental policies and the participation and direct benefit that the community derives from its operation.

Also highlighted were the external links and partnerships of Sta. Cruz Island with various organizations such as Yellow Boat Foundation, Ilove Foundation and USAID Protect Wildlife.

The tourism officers and LGU officials from the region were very impressed with the PAMO-initiated programs and activities that provide economic opportunities to the entire city with the Island’s community as the priority.

In the past, various influential personalities also cited the good practices in managing the island. These include Canadian Kyle “Kulas” Jennermann of Becoming FilipIno, Filipino-French Chef and Content Creator Erwan Heussaff and the late philanthropist and Eco-Warrior Gina Lopez who personally chose Sta. Cruz as one of the Winners of her Quest For Love Program.  Sta. Cruz Island, named by the National Geographic as one of the 21 best beaches in the world is famous for its pinkish sand which comes from crushed red organ pipe corals. Managed by the City Government of Zamboanga through the PAMO, the Island has been a favorite destination not only for the locals but foreign and domestic tourists as well.  (PAMO PR)