To properly manage the visitors and tourists that will come to the Bataan National Park, certain protocols must be observed. From tour planning until the end of their visit, it must be well-coordinated with the authorized entities to ensure their well-being, safety and security during the trip in the Bataan National Park.
Before coming to the BNP, it is suggested that tourists, especially those in large groups, coordinate with the Local Government Unit (i.e. Municipal Tourism Office) where they can be assisted throughout their trip.Existing travel agencies can also help in arranging visits of potential visitors. Coordination with the local authorities will be easier, as well, through travel agencies because of their developed linkages.
Upon tourist arrival, there will be registration of important information, such as the following: name, gender, nationality, address, occupation, date of birth, contact number and the date of arrival and departure. This will help in monitoring tourist entry, as well as during emergencies. Properly trained tour guides are to welcome the guests and are responsible for briefing them before the start of the activity. The tour guides shall be accredited and recognized by the LGU. Hence, they will be equipped and will have to undergo series of trainings.
Apart from the briefing of visitors, information centers will be built to provide additional and pertinent data for the curious visitors. Guest relation staff will assist and give brief description of the BNP sites and the different activities.
Inside the BNP, signage and directions on how to get to the identified ecotourism sites will be put up. There will also be warning signage for falling rocks, bees, and slippery or steep slopes. Specific signage will also be used for educational information.
To further guide the visitors, a trail system will be used. Ropes will help in accessing the trails. Natural barriers and rails like vines or “baging” can also be used to lead tourists to their destination.It is necessary that the signage and trail marks are not harmful to the environment to preserve the essence of ecotourism.
Different attractions and activities can be offered to tourists during their visit in the BNP.These include hiking, river trekking, camping, birding and bird watching, sightseeing, swimming and biodiversity appreciation.
Various infrastructures will be built to ensure the visitors’ ease during their stay in the Bataan National Park. Business and/or Nature Centers will be for welcoming the guests and for information purposes. Comfort rooms will be built in designated areas. View decks will be available for sightseeing and bird watching, while campsites will be the area where guests can put up their tents for overnight stay.
For the safety of the visitors, there will be a schedule of operations. Rules and regulations will also be strictly imposed in the ecotourism sites to help protect the environment from possible degradation brought by visitors.
Certain rules and regulations will be enforced to further ensure security of the visitors. Regulations will include the schedule of operations, and rules on waste management and the things which are not allowed in the ecotourism sites.
Site Activity Management
Protocols, standards and behavior to the specific ecotourism activity should need to follow and determine as part of the ecotourism enterprises or businesses to be developed.
Guide services – trekking guide; community guide
Provide guest to guide ratio
Determine income sharing
Guides to be accredited by LGUs (barangay and municipal), Department of Tourism, and PO.
Determine guides age requirement
Guides to wear uniform with ID.
Guides will be responsible to their guiding gears, tools and equipment.
Guide assignment to be handled by forest adventure head (tour guide committee).
With centralized storage for guiding, camping, swimming, catering, art & crafts, natures village gears, tools, supplies and equipments.
Guests will be covered by Third Party Liability (Insurance).
Gear rental fee to be established per item/gear.
Issuance and return of gears to be handled by/responsibility of respective. Guides with proper documentations.
In case of damaged/loss of item, proper investigation will be made and whoever responsible will pay for the damaged/loss item. Come up with a simple contract/agreement on rental of gears, tools and equipment.
Massage service (Natures Village) Mountain spa
Masseurs (massage personnel) with proper training and accredited by DOH or TESDA.
Masseurs to wear proper uniform and ID at all times.
Practice proper sanitation and cleanliness.
Age limit – 20 to 60 years of age. (physically fit)
Massage supplies and equipment are responsibility of masseurs.
Provide in the information form the preference on the masseur (male or female)
In case of unforeseen event , there should be a proper turn over
Always be on time
Don’t argue with guest
Set up rules on violations, sanctions and penalties ( 1 week, 1 month, 6 months to one year, termination);
Trek Guides-smoking, late, overpricing, absent, hangover, drinking of alcoholic drinks, out of the agreed trails (shortcut)
Established working time and hours maintain good physical condition
To protect the Forest and Ecotourism sites
Plant different kinds of forest cover (indigenous trees) lauan, tibig, tangueli, almaciga, guijo, yakal, manggangpahutan, alupag, native vines, palms,
Conduct of tree planting activities
Maintain and protect the ecotourism site, river, forest and falls
Information dissemination on environmental protection and conservation
Assist and inform proper authorities of illegal activities in the forest (barangay officials, forest rangers, municipal/provincial police, military)
Nature related activities (clean up drive program, tree planting activities, etc)
Communication with nearby municipality (Abucay, Samal) regarding the protection and visitor management inside the BNP
Arts and Crafts
Determine sharing on net income.
Workers to be assigned, rotated if necessary, by Arts & Crafts head in coordination with the project manager
Workers should have proper training, required health certificates, and wear proper attire at all times
Proper sanitation and cleanliness should be implemented in working area
Costing and pricing of food to be established by kitchen head and approved by the project manager
Opportunities for Ecotourism (including business)
Presence of natural resources and attraction in the Bataan National Park provides opportunity for different ecotourism enterprise and livelihood to develop. As it was enumerated in the Full Site Assessment of the PA, there are a number of activities that BNP and the local community can offer. These ecotourism opportunities could generate income and provide local employment to the people. The following are the specific ecotourism enterprises that are identified in the site:
Ground camping is one of the ecotourism enterprises that the BNP can offer to its prospective visitors. There are several potential sites for this activity such as the “Binutas” site in Barangay Tala, Orani. The tourists will be able to experience being one with nature and encounter the indigenous people’s traditions, culture and customs. Tent rental will be its primary income generator.
Visit of tourists to the different ecotourism sitescould create more enterprise opportunities for food/culinary and catering services. In this light, the locals can showcase their native cuisines and make the visitors taste the unique flavors in Bataan. It is targeted that the markets would be the local and foreign hikers, bikers, and student and private groups who wish to visit the BNP.
The primary attraction that the BNP can offer is its treasured nature. Different activities can be experienced by the tourists where they can have a close encounter with the environment. Bird watching could be done in the presence of the trees that serve as the birds’ nesting grounds. Thus, tools (e.g. binoculars, etc.) rentals could generate income.
Because the BNP has a lot of attractions and breathtaking views, sightseeing and site visits could be one of the main enterprise of ecotourism. Environmental/ educational fieldtrips and studying/environmental exploration could be organized in the area and provide employment opportunities for tour guides. Likewise, considering the geography of the area which comprises mostly of mountain and rivers, mountain trekking, hiking, climbing and river adventure activities could also generate income to the PA and to its people.
Arts and Crafts
Aside from the ecotourism activities itself, souvenir items and local crafts making using indigenous materials like rattan and tiger grass can be a good source of income. It does not only promote the Bataan province, but it also promotes the creativity of its people.Similarly, abundance of coconut resources in the community may be used in culinary development. Locals may produce homemade coconut products and market them to potential tourists. Cashew and Banana plants are also abundant in the area which opens opportunity for the market of cashew and banana food products.
In order for the proposed activities to be profitable, productive and sustainable, the skills of the beneficiaries and locals must be further enhanced. In Table 4, the skills needed for each proposed ecotourism enterprise and the recommended enhancement activities on how they can be further developed and improved are shown.
Table 4. Activities to develop the skills and abilities of the beneficiaries on the proposed ecotourism enterprise and livelihood development in the BNP.
Proposed Ecotourism Enterprise and Livelihood Development
Seminar on pollution control and environmental conducts
Development, repair and maintenance of trails
Appropriate training on commercial cooking, food handling, safety and quality
Conduct refresher hands-on training on said project
Seminar/Training on packaging
Development of arts and crafts or souvenir items, Buko pie and Banana Bread production
Conduct hands-on training for product preparation
Ask for assistance from DTI for product improvement
Tour guiding and culinary services are some of the existing services in BNP that can be further enhanced through a series of seminars, trainings or workshops. Tour guides of the PA were issued IDs by the Local Government Unit, but they were not still issued tour guiding accreditation. Also, they have limited tools and devices that will help them in their activities. Hence, it is recommended that they undergo enhancement training and seminars, as well as provide them equipment, tools and devices, so that they can be capable to relay their work better. Moreover, it was observed that the people are already knowledgeable on culinary services and there are also available accommodation sites. Training on food handling, safety and security is suggested to improve this existing service.
Industry, Marketing and Promotion
The ecotourism sites within the Bataan Natural Park shows potential destination. Identified sites promises scenic and beautiful view while engaging in recreational activities, thus, local eco-tourist will enjoy their visit and stay in the place. Their visits will not only focus on the recreational aspect but to serve its main purpose to educate the public on the importance of natural habitats and the process on conservation and protection of the same.
The ecotourism travel or visit of tourist must emphasize environmental benefits that will educate them on conservation and protection of natural habitat within the Bataan Natural Park. The eco-tour will offer sustainable and environment friendly products and services that will utilize natural and organic raw materials which are abundant in the community. Moreover, identified activities are eco-friendly and with at least no or low impact in the environment.
The Ecotourism Project under the Bataan Natural Park targeted local tourist and visitors from nearby places, municipalities and provinces. This will cater primarily students to educate them on natural resources and be aware on different protections and conservations issues and concerns.
The ecotourism sites will increase tourist arrival in the Province of Bataan. It is projected help the local tourism industry starting the summer season of 2015. The development and enhancement of ecotourism sites by installing recreational facilities and identifying possible activities, arrivals of tourist is expected.
Expected competitor of this project is the Province of Zambales particularly within Subic Bay where most of the tourist destinations are fully developed. However, this problem could be addressed by promotional and marketing strategies.
Promotional and Sales Activities
The Ecotourism sites within the Bataan Natural Park will be promoted by means of the following:
The most effective and low cost means of advertisement is through the use of social media such as Facebook, Instagram and other social networking sites where most of the people are connected;
Through official websites of the Provincial Tourism Office of the Province of Bataan;
Souvenir items such as T-Shirts could be use as a promotional tool. T-Shirts designs will feature ecotourism sites and indicate the location;
Advertising materials such as tarpaulin, billboards, pamphlets and other reading materials will be used as promotional materials;
Giving discounts for group of persons who will visit the sites;
Lower prices during lean season or off-season;
Advertising through local radio and television stations; and
Tapping resorts and other tourist destinations and/or attractions as partners where the ecotourism sites will be included in the itinerary of their visitors.
The DENR Administrative Order No. 2013-19 or the Guidelines on Ecotourism Planning and Management in Protected Areas pursuant to all laws and orders pertinent thereof, prescribed the formulation of Ecotourism Management Plan (EMB) and Business Plan for the potential Ecotourism sites and business development. Likewise, protection and conservation of the Protected Area must be observed and executed as mandated by laws and regulations.
To ensure proper implementation and management of the Ecotourism Management Plan. The table below shows the following concerned agencies and other partner stakeholders with the define roles, functions including plans and programsfor ecotourism project.
Roles and Functions
Implement and monitor Ecotourism Project and related Livelihood Programs.
Infrastructure and trail development for Ecotourism.
Determine POs as recipient to the project.
Identify appropriate businesses or ecotourism enterprises.
Provide trainings and capacity building to POs and stakeholders