Samar ‘sparks’ sustainable tourism campaign

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SAMAR, one of the three provinces in what is little known as the country’s third-largest island — also named Samar, is reigniting interest in its tourist attractions as it launched its Spark Samar campaign with a three-day travel fair over the weekend at the SM Megamall in Metro Manila.

The #SparkSamar program is a collaboration between the local government units (provincial, city, municipal), private sector, and the academe. Apart from promoting tourism sites such as the Sohoton Cave, one of the highlights of the fair was Saturday’s launch of LARA, a project between Spark Samar, the artisan banig (mat) weavers of Basey town, and a pool of creative consultants. Samar is home to more than 2000 artisan banig weavers. “Dati akala ko panaginip lang ito (Before, I thought this would just be a dream), but now this is a reality,” Samar Governor Sharee Ann T. Tan said during the Spark Samar launch as she presented the enhanced travel circuit in the province and other developments. Tourism Undersecretary Alma Rita Jimenez, for her part, said, ”The success of Spark Samar is the success of the Samarnons.”