Merle U. Ruiz, Ernesto Mandigma & Florenda de Vero
This paper aimed to develop a strategic tourism marketing framework to save Panguil River Ecopark (PREP) from environmental degradation whilst promoting Panguil as model for Community Based Ecotourism in the province of Laguna. Panguil falls under the fourth class municipality of Laguna and endowed with cultural products and numerous natural attributes, such as falls, rivers, and nature trails. In turn, the local government developed one tourist destination named Panguil River Ecopark (PREP). The study was a combination of both quantitative and qualitative approach in nature. It involves descriptive method to address the objectives of this investigation. The primary collection of data involved different tools such as survey questionnaire, observation of the area, focus group discussion and together with Participatory Action Research (PAR). A preliminary meetings and workshop, and an in depth interviews with the Local Government Unit (LGU), visitors and locals of Panguil, Laguna, Philippines was also utilized in the study. Judgmental sampling was applied in gathering pertinent data while expert sampling was also incorporated. Through the integration of ethical standards, the gathered data were treated with utmost confidentiality. Cronbach Alpha was utilized in validating tool and framework narrative analysis was used in analyzing and interpreting the data. Based on Environmental Impact Assessment it was perceived by the respondents that PREP failed to implement carrying capacity likewise, the community was heavily reliant on said destination amidst numerous cultural resources present. Failure to resolve the problem may lead to environmental damage of PREP. To build sustainable CBET destination the study recommends the following: to offer alternative activities that will control the movement of visitors within the PREP particularly along Ambon-Ambon falls; introduce variety of cultural tourism products as part of the attractions; and implement reservation.
Keywords: Community based ecotourism, Panguil, sustainable tourism, marketing strategic framework, tourism marketing