"A tourism product is defined as an EXPERIENCE that is created for the satisfaction of the visitor, an for the benefit of the community an the environment. It is composed of things that one can smell, see, taste, hear and fee, including those that are learned, enjoyed, appreciated, felt by the heart and remembered". (Chen Mencias)
BLue Water product developmnt experts over the years have helped communities conceptualize their products based on the most compelling attractions that they have. These could be natural or cultural heritage that have enough drawing power by themselves, and when enhanced with other elements, can generate attention and ultimately sign ups from tourists. Blue Water developed special product development tools and concepts that provided insights on how to put together these unique experienes. Below are examples of products of community partners.
A total of 55 ecotourism enterprises were established in 22 ecotourism sites located in six provinces in five regions. The provinces include Cagayan, Zambales, Masbate, Cebu, Siquijor and Davao Oriental. The beneficiaries were People's Organizations (PO) that were pre-selected based on specific criteria. Enterprises include ecosystem-based guiding, catering, souvenir production, camp site development, and community spa. The project was from 2011 to 2014 and was funded by the Global Environment Fund (GEF) and Asian Development Bank (ADB). The project was a component of the Integrated Coastal Resource Management Project (ICRMP) implemented by DENR and DA-BFAR.
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According to DENR DAO 2013-19, ecotourism is defined as a "form of sustainabe tourism within a natural and cultural heritage area where community participation, protection and management of natural resources, culture and indigenous knowledge an practices, environmental educaiton and ethics, as well as economic benefits are fostered and pursued for the enrichment of host community and satisfaction of visitors". Globally, ecotourism is an accepted strategy in order to achieve environmental, social and economic goals within outstanding and fragile natural places, including Protected Areas. In the Philippines, PAs are required to have two documents related to tourism: Ecotourism Management Plan and Ecotourism Business Plan. Blue Water has provided technical assistance is several PAs in the country.
This entails a macro view of the planning area and how an industry that involves the entry of volumes of people can impact resources that are primarily managed to address the needs of the local population. Resources include fresh water, energy,infrastructure, ecosystems, food, space, as well as transportation, waste maangement, health and protective services. As such, master planning involves the use of several tools designed to analyse how tourism may be regulated, managed and it's negative impacts mitigated. Analysis covers several aspects of the destinations, such as food production, infrastructure, human resources, cultural integrity, life support systems, livelihood, environmental concerns, policy gaps, land use, among others. It is for this reason that tourism planning needs a multi-disciplinary approach.The following sites is part of the roster of destinations that the Blue Water Team assisted in the crafting of their Tourism Plans.