San Vicente in Northern Samar, famous for its pink sand beaches, will be opening the first luxury resort in Eastern Visayas. The Sila Island Resort will welcome tourists and visitors looking for a quality holiday in a luxurious environment. The resort is expected to open within a month, according to resort management.
Over the weekend, DOT officials and tour and travel operators from Leyte and Northern Samar provinces visited the resort to promote the province’s reopening to regional visitors.
“You can position Northern Samar, like some places such as Sila Island, as a destination for the high-end market,” Department of Tourism (DOT) Eastern Visayas regional director Karina Rosa Tiopes said on Tuesday, May 11. “Mass tourism is okay but having a responsible tourism development by attracting fewer guests but high spending will generate the same benefit to communities,” she added.
The resort, located two hours from San Isidro port, features villas with contemporary Filipino architecture and cutting-edge design using locally sourced materials such as bamboo and rattan. Each villa has large open doors that allow visitors to catch and enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the nearby island’s turquoise-colored seawater and lush mountain.
The resort, operated by a foreign company, will serve dishes from different varieties of local cuisines that have been infused with imported spices and ingredients.
Guests will also have access to their own butler during their stay on the island.
Due to the pandemic, resort management requires guests to have a negative Covid-19 test result released within 72 hours of entering the resort as mitigating steps to deter infection spread. They also expect visitors to observe basic health precautions such as wearing facial masks, hand sanitizing, and checking their body temperature on a daily basis.
The management also conducts regular testing among its staff.
“We really need places such as this to offer to the high-end market and this is really a welcome development for us. We now have a Sila Island Resort in San Vicente, and I hope that this will not be the only development here,” Tiopes said.
She went on to say that having a high-end resort in Northern Samar would draw international visitors, bringing in “new money” to the local economy. “Domestic tourism is really the backbone of Philippine tourism, anywhere you go, 80 to 90 percent of the tourists are Filipinos, but we need foreign tourists because these are the guests who bring the new money,” Tiopes said.
With the tourism industry not only in the country but also around the world being hit by the current pandemic, the management of Sila Island Resort hopes to become an alternate destination for those who enjoy traveling outside the country.
Photo credit: Philippine News Agency. Sila Island Resort in San Vicente, Northern Samar.