Sunday, 10 November 2013

DOT Bicol trains tricycle drivers on tourist handling

LEGAZPI CITY: Courtesy, honesty, grooming, hygiene and road safety are the basic attributes that the Department of Tourism (DOT) in Bicol is developing among tricycle drivers in most parts of the region.

This is for this transport sector to be able to effectively handle tourists, Danilo Intong, DOT regional training coordinator, said on Tuesday here.

“Bicol has a fast growing tourism industry owing to its natural wonders that visitors marvel at. Consequently, in the case of most of its cities and provinces, tricycles serve as the industry front liner being the primary means of local transportation,” Intong said.

As such, tricycle drivers should be oriented on the proper way of dealing with and handling tourists and visitors.

They must also be personally presentable — an attribute that requires good grooming and hygiene, Intong said.

In line with this, Intong said, DOT Bicol has been going around the region and coordinating with local government units and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) on the conduct of training among tricycle drivers, the latest of which was done in Catanduanes on request of Gov Araceli Wong.

The governor wants to provide a wholesome atmosphere for both foreign and domestic visitors during their stay in the island province and one way of doing it is having them served by a transport sector that is tourist-oriented, according to Intong.

Catanduanes, a province separated from the Bicol mainland by Maqueda Bay and sitting at the Pacific Ocean, is considered one of the promising eco-tourism areas in the region owing to its rich ecology and majestic coastal waters that offers exciting surfing and dive sites.

Around 1,500 tricycle drivers plying various routes around Catanduanes attended the two-day training held at the Old Capitol Building in Virac, the provincial capital, and Intong said “we put emphasis on basic courtesy, honesty, grooming, hygiene and road safety among them because these traits are the most important that they need to develop.”

The number, according to Intong, is the biggest so far in tourism-trained tricycle drivers among the six provinces and seven cities of Bicol.

Tabaco City in Albay, he said, also has at least 30 selected out of its almost 3,000 pedicab drivers who underwent a similar training that put emphasis on the city government’s program called Padyak Tour offered to tourists.

Intong described the undertaking as a unique tourism program that puts in the forefront the city’s hardworking and friendly pedicab drivers while creating alternative sources of earning for them.

The selection process looked into the physical capability, general attitude towards tourism, moral character and communication skills of the drivers, he said.

“These trained drivers in Tabaco City serve now not only as transporters but also as tourist guides,” Intong said.

In Catanduanes, Wong issued the training participants with uniforms as well as identification cards and stickers in line with her project of providing proper identification to ensure good services not only to tourists but also to the general riding public.

The governor, who aims for a wholesome picture of the province amidst the conduct of tourism promotions and improvement of roads and transportation facilities towards developed tourist spots, has called on public to patronize only transport services with properly identified drivers and driving marked and registered tricycle units. - MAL/DOC-LGU Legazpi City/PIA5

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