December 06, 2016

Pink Sand Beach in Zamboanga eyed as next travel destination

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  • There’s one thing that’s a bit more alluring than white sand beaches, and that’s pink sand beaches. The Department of Tourism (DOT) is looking at turning one of the country’s two pink sand beaches into a backpacker’s tourist destination.

    pink-sand-beach-of-sta-cruz-islandYES, IT’S PINK. Zamboanga’s Pink Sand Beach is one of only two in the country, and the DOT is looking to turn it into a backpacker’s tourist destination. Image grabbed from Out Of Town Blog

    Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo paid a visit to Las Islas de Santa Cruz in Zamboanga on Friday, Dec. 2 to see the pink sand beach for herself. The visit also served as an assurance to tourists that the Zamboanga Peninsula is safe regardless of the stigma attached to its name.

    “I personally came here because I want people to know that because ‘the Secretary of Tourism was here’, the more they should come here. I would like to show the world that Zamboanga is safe,” Teo said in a press conference.

    Teo was taken on a tour of the island and the lagoon along with members of the DOT and media, escorted by the Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine National Police. She took in the sights of Las Islas de Santa Cruz as well as shopped for accessories made of pearls and precious stones imported from Malaysia.

    After the tour, Teo vowed to spearhead efforts to turn the island into a tourist destination with help from Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), the agency that used to operate the island.

    “I would like to promote Santa Cruz as a new destination because of the pink sand. I have spoken to people in charge to coordinate with us for funding. We will help them through TIEZA,” Teo said.

    Tourism Assistant Secretary Frederick Alegre, who joined Teo on the trip, cited the island’s accessibility as one of the best reasons to visit the islands. He also assured that the DOT is in talks with concerned law enforcement agencies to improve security and safety in Zamboanga given its image.

    Zamboanga’s Pink Sand Beach, another name for Las Islas de Santa Cruz, is a 3,425-hectare marine reserve believed to be bigger than Boracay, the country’s 24/7 party island. It gets its iconic pink sand from the mixture of powdery white sand and fragments of red coral crushed by waves over many years.

    Las Islas de Santa Cruz, also known as The Great and Little Santa Cruz Islands Protected Landscape and Seascape, is one of only two areas in the country with a pink sand beach next to Sila Beach in Northern Samar. It used to belong to TIEZA before it was handed over to the Zamboanga City government in 2011.


    Source: Philippine News Agency, Manila Bulletin

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