UNWTO chief to lead tourism recovery roadmap turnover in Tagbilaran, Bohol

By , on May 17, 2014

Chocolate Hills of Bohol
Chocolate Hills of Bohol

MANILA — United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary General Dr. Taleb Rifai is scheduled to lead the turnover rites on Friday of the tourism recovery roadmap for Bohol in Tagbilaran City.

He will turn over the roadmap or the Bohol Tourism Recovery Plan (BTRP) to Gov. Edgar Chatto in the presence of national and local tourism officials and industry key players.

According to the Department of Tourism (DOT), the BTRP is an output of collaboration of the DOT and other sectors to help the province recover from the effects of last year’s earthquake.

These sectors include the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under its Advancing Philippine Competitiveness Project (USAID-COMPETE), UNWTO and the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

The DOT said that it is also dubbed as Bohol’s tourism recovery “bible” which contains strategies for marketing the province to the global community and the development of new tourism products to strengthen Bohol’s position as an eco-cultural destination.

It will also be a guide book for Bohol not only in bringing back local and international tourists, but also in further expanding its tourism base, the DOT further noted.

Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr., in a statement, said that hosting the event is a wonderful opportunity to express gratitude and appreciation to donors and supporters.

He also said that it is also an opportunity to show the world how Bohol has quickly moved towards recovery, tourism-wise, with the technical assistance from UNWTO, USAID and PATA.

“Bohol has bounced back quickly judging from the rising travel statistics this year,” Jimenez said. “We are optimistic that Tacloban City will do the same as a tourism recovery plan is soon to be implemented there.”

“It also warms our heart to share that no less than Dr. Rifai himself has volunteered to come early prior to the meetings to engage in the recovery-related activities despite his busy schedule,” he added.

The Tourism Secretary also noted that Dr. Rifai’s visit shows his “genuine concern for our country’s tourism recovery,” the same commitment as he would show when addressing other member countries’ crises.

Dr. Rifai, on his visit, will be joined by Assistant Tourism Secretary Rolando Canizal, USAID Acting Director Aeschliman, and USAID-COMPETE Chief of Party Enrico Basilio.

The turnover rites will be held at the South Palms Resort in Panglao and is expected to take a spotlight as an important tourism milestone.

Dr. Rifai is coming with another UNWTO official, Xu Jing, who is the Regional Director for Asia-Pacific. The UNWTO Headquarters is in Madrid, Spain.

He and his team will have a joint dinner meeting with the provincial government officials and Provincial Tourism Council (PTC) after the presentation.

The UNWTO secretary-general is also set to visit the tarsier sanctuary in Corella, totally-destroyed Loboc church, Alburquerque church and Punta Cruz watchtower in Maribojoc.