Tourism

Tourism group eyes green road map

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A tourism group in the Asia-Pacific will focus on a road map for environmental stability and stronger air transport connectivity for the Philippines.

Thirteen APEC member countries with 34 representatives converged on a two day technical meeting since last Saturday for the 38th Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) tourism working group hosted by Cebu.

The event, which is held once every year in different countries within the Asia Pacific region, will assess the 2010 tourism performance of each country and to direct the 2011 work and strategic plan.

“ This is the venue for implementing policies which will help the tourism development of Apec members,” said Danilo Corpus, Department of Tourism undersecretary for Planning and Promotions.

One of the agenda of the meeting is the tourism thrust of the Philippines to organize air transport connectivity, which according to Corpus, will strengthen and encourage the local tourism in the Archipelago.

He said the DOT is looking into opening up to more prospective markets like Korea, China, US and India, which need a more open access for air transport.

Corpus said they would also discuss environmental sustainability in terms of environmental development to “ harmonize environmental sustainability and economic growth”

“ We need to develop an approach for taking care of our natural and cultural resources which is our tourism advantage in the Philippines,” he said.

According to the tourism department, 60 percent of tourists visit the country to go to the beaches and attend marine activities.

“ If we want to continue this trend, we have to protect our resources and continue this balance,” Corpus said.

Meanwhile, DOT-7 regional director Rowena Montecillo said Cebu would continue to strengthen the private-public partnership to encourage environmental protection in Cebu.

Known for its pristine beaches and fine sand, Montecillo said that Cebu’s beaches are among the top tourist attractions which foreign visitors and investors.

Montecillo said they are eyeing a monthly coastal clean-up activity to keep the beaches clean.

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