In light of the worldwide trend whereby governments drive their respective tourism development and promotion programs by focusing on indigenous and heritage activities and products, the Dagupan City government has, for the last decade, trained its sights on the Bangus (milkfish) Festival as the target of its tourism mantra. Indeed, tourism can be a very valuable resource for the city, and there is no reason it should not be pursued with extraordinary vigor. Dagupan has a lot of attributes that recommend it as a tourist destination: an attractive and varied environment, a generally agreeable climate, a collection of unique and interesting cultures, and a population which is, for the most part, friendly towards visitors, whether domestic or foreign.
Through this centerpiece summertime celebration, our cultural authenticity is maintained and our heritage product, the Dagupan bangus, is further supported and promoted. Through the Bangus Festival, we celebrate the talent of our people, the diversity of our culture, and our rich resource base for tourism development and promotion.
It is obvious that the city government’s long-term goal is to use the cultural, historical, livelihood, and recreational assets of our city for the development of a highly diversified and competitive tourism-oriented event. It is fitting that our tourism thrusts focus on the revival of cherished traditions, arts, and culture in light of this year’s current world tourism theme, “Tourism Linking Cultures,” which must mirror everyday life through the diverse cultures and festivals consistently drawing cards for domestic and foreign visitors.
We now have a strong and united front consisting of the city government’s line departments and offices, particularly our flag carriers, fully supported by our city-based national government agencies and entities, civil society, our barangay (village) leaders, nongovernmental organizations, the business community, and the cityfolk in general – all cooperating for the successful celebration of a treasured event as the Bangus Festival. The tourism structures are now definitely in place, and there is no doubt that our tourism sector will be one of our city’s main drivers in our local economic diversi