TwoEco is pleased to announce that it has completed the Tourism Master Plan for Biliran Province.
Biliran, one of the youngest and smallest provinces of the country, is an Island province located off the northern edge of Leyte. It is rich in waterfalls and rivers, a source of geothermal energy, and its outlying islets have great potential as diving and camping sites. We identified key strategies for the province to properly develop its tourism potential for economic development.
While the nation's many islands are rich with waterfalls, Biliran offers the unique proposition of visiting so many waterfalls within such a small area. It is even possible to visit one waterfall in each of the eight towns, approaching it as a "tourist challenge" that a visitor should complete in a trip, while distributing tourist traffic (and income) throughout all the municipalities. However, some of these waterfalls have some outdated and poorly designed facilities that detract from the natural beauty and sensitive ecology of the sites. A key intervention would be to adopt environmentally sensitive architecture that blends well with the natural environment, minimizes impact on the ecology, and respects legal requirements such as easements along rivers.
One of Biliran's gems is its outlying barrier island of Sambawan. The island offers a unique camping and adventure oriented experience, but with its very limited land area, it also has a very limited carrying capacity. The island has to be properly managed as regards tracking numbers of visitors, and the waste they produce.
Some areas on the main island of Biliran have the potential to be hubs for tourist activity, hosting beachfront accommodations, restaurants and bars. The outlying island municipality of Maripipi should develop proper hiking tours and catalogue its biodiversity - a mountainous volcanic island with significantly intact forest cover should have a very interesting spectrum of flora and fauna.
Biliran has both the challenge and the opportunity that it is starting, for all practical purposes for tourism development, at square one. There are a number of other opportunities for development that we have discussed in the report, and we look forward to Biliran implementing the strategies we have outlined as a way to benefit from its natural beauty in a sustainable manner.