The Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) is soliciting proposals for a joint venture to develop and manage the Balicasag Island Dive Resort.
The resort is situated on Balicasag, an island in Bohol known for its white sandy beaches and for having the best diving sites in the country which “offer a stunning display of marine diversity”.
The mushroom-shaped coral island, which is considered a marine reserve and tourist zone, is accessible from Panglao Island via a 20-minute speedboat ride.
TIEZA said its Joint Venture Selection Committee (JVSC) started accepting the initial required documents for the competitive selection on November 13 and will continue to do so until December 26, 2019.
The deadline for the submission of eligibility documents is at 12 noon on January 10, 2020 at the office of the JVSC Secretariat at the Double Dragon Plaza in Double Dragon Meridian Park.
The project involves the rehabilitation and upgrading of the facilities of the resort, improving efficiency in operations and maintenance of the facility, providing additional water sports activities and/or island tours, and building other facilities and implementing new management strategies.
The joint venture contract will be for 25 years.
TIEZA started operating the resort, which is situated in a 1.5-hectare property on the island, in 1989.
Based on the Project Information Memorandum, the resort has 10 duplex cottages, 2 family rooms and 4 dormitory rooms, a restaurant for 40 guests, a dive shop, a function hall for 100 guests, picnic huts, an administrative office and a staff house.
Dive sites near Balicasag are the Black Forest, Cathedral or Royal Garden, Divers Heaven, Rico’s Wall, and Rudy’s Rock.
These dives sites each have a depth ranging from 3 to 45 meters. Divers will find various types of corals, fishes, turtles, among other sea creatures.
The aim is to develop the resort in a sustainable manner and draw more tourists to the island.
Central Visayas region, of which Bohol is part, is among the top tourist destinations in the country.
The Department of Tourism said the region received more than 8 million foreign and local visitors in 2018. About 1.5 million went to Bohol. (Ventures Cebu)