After a successful staging of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit, Cebu will now host another international gathering: the United Nations-World Tourism Organization’s (UN-WTO) 6th International Tourism Forum for Parliamentarians.
The forum on Oct. 22 to 25 is expected to gather 400 delegates from 156 countries. Department of Tourism Secretary Joseph Durano told reporters “once again, Cebu will be the center of the world stage. It is an opportunity for Cebu to look forward to and grow, and an effective way for Cebuanos to look inward and present its competitiveness and strength as a people to the rest of the world.”
Durano said tourism spots in Cebu, Bohol as well as destinations in Boracay, Palawan, Manila and Cagayan de Oro will be showcased as part of a post-conference tour of tourism hot spots.
“After the event, they will be around Cebu not as delegates but as tourists,” Durano told reporters.
The three-day conference will be held at the Shangri-La Mactan Island Resort and Spa, which hosted ASEAN heads of states during last year’s 12th ASEAN Summit.
Officials said the conference will not only be attended by parliamentarians from 100 countries but also local officials and heads of committees.
Durano said the conference is being held in Cebu because it is a resort destination, has wide international air service connectivity, and meets a certain standard in international conference facilities.
He said the conference will indirectly promote Cebu and Bohol as the premier tourism destination in the Philippines.
DOT Undersecretary for Tourism Planning and Promotions Eduardo Jarque Jr. said that with the international media mileage that Cebu and Bohol will be getting, both provinces are “guaranteed to be in the world map as a destination for leisure, and international meetings, conventions, incentives, and exhibitions.”