The Philippines is setting its eyes on Oriental Mindoro as its next major cruise destination, with a new cruise terminal expected to rise in Puerto Galera by 2025.
In an interview Monday, Department of Tourism (DOT) Region 4-B (Mimaropa) officer-in-charge Director Roberto Alabado III said the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has announced its plan to build the “modern cruise port” in the coastal town.
“We are expecting that perhaps by next year or 2025 magsisimula na ‘yong kanyang cruise port (the cruise port will be open),” he said.
Alabado said the DOT would be working with the local government to further prepare the province for the eventual influx of tourists on the island.
“The attractions are there but we have to ensure the capacity, the accessibility. Because depending on the size of the cruise, it can range from just a few hundred to a few thousand,” he said.
Alabado said cruise lines can offer their passengers cove-hopping tours, a quick side trip to the island’s waterfalls and white sand beaches, or let them immerse into Oriental Mindoro’s culture while interacting with the locals.
“These activities are already there and can already be easily developed into a world-class tour for tourists disembarking their cruise ships,” he said.
Alabado said Oriental Mindoro could also use this period to carefully plan and develop the quality of its offerings, specifically for visiting cruise ships.
“Maraming dumadaong dito na maliliit na barko pero itong cruise port na gagawin ay para sa malalaking barko or cruise ships na dapat paghandaan (There are smalls vessels that anchor or make port calls here but the cruise port that will be built are for the big cruise ships),” he said.
The Philippines was recently named “Asia’s Best Cruise Destination 2023” by the prestigious World Cruise Awards.
As of Oct. 16, the Philippines is projected to have a total of 128 cruise calls in 2023 across 33 destinations across the country.
These cruise ships are expected to bring in more than 101,000 passengers and some 50,000 crew. (PNA)