San Vicente Tourism master plan gets nods from DOT and TIEZA

The master plan prepared by Palafox Associates for San Vicente in Palawan, a flagship Tourism Enterprise Zone (TEZ), recently received the approval of both the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA).

With 883 hectares land area, San Vicente in Palawan boasts of a 14-kilometer long beach said to be the longest stretch of fine, white sand in the country. It is also home to a diverse marine life and a unique mix of landscapes like rice fields, waterfalls, mangroves, mountains, and forests.

At the heart of the development of this new town are its people. San Vicente has a population of only 31,000. One of the goals of the Integrated Tourism Masterplan includes the welfare of its inhabitants. According to Karmi Palafox, “Before a town can be a world-class destination, it should first be a livable community.”

The “build and they will come” approach to tourism planning and development were agreed upon by the Municipal Government of San Vicente, DOT, and TIEZA, as opposed to the “build as they come” option. Roads, airport, seaport, water, drainage and sewerage system, and power facilities will be built first in anticipation of future developments.

One of the major considerations in the plan is disaster-preparedness. Palafox Associates recommended an ascending building height, nearest to farthest from the beach. For areas vulnerable to flooding, the structures will be designed on-stilts and there will be no bedrooms on the ground floor. Existing trees along the beach will be preserved and a 50-meter setback from the beach will also be implemented.

San Vicente is also planned to be a well-connected, walkable, and bikable community. There will be access to the beach approximately every 400 meters and community centers will be within 800 meters from each other.

The tourism master plan for San Vicente, Palawan calls for development guidelines and design standards that give respect to the area’s natural features and general terrain.  An inclusive and high-end development is envisioned with emphasis on sustainable tourism, responsible commercial development, and protection of ecologically and culturally-significant areas.