Ramon R. Jimenez Jr., the Secretary of Tourism of the Philippines passed on his sincere thanks on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) to Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) members who extended help in the six months since Typhoon Yolanda "hit hard" 44 of the country’s 81 provinces.
Secretary Jimenez was congratulated in a key note speech at the World Economic Forum this afternoon at the Makati Shangri-La by President of the Philippines Benigno S. Aquino for his outstanding delivery of the "More Fun in the Philippines" promotional campaign and the doubling of the year-on-year international visitor arrivals to 11.3%.
PATA CEO Martin Craigs who is in Manila as a guest of Global Tourism Association Coalition (GTAC) partner WEF has today confirmed that Secretary Jimenez will visit Bangkok from July 4-5 to attend his first PATA Executive Board meeting and speak to the PATA Thailand Chapter and industry friends to show solidarity in challenging times.
"Secretary Jimenez is an outstanding next generation minded tourism leader with a natural sense of reciprocity, it will be a pleasure to host him in Thailand," Mr Craigs concluded.
Also of note and recorded with pride is the progress PATA activists have made in the rebuilding process since the Bohol Earthquake and Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda hit in 2013.
In March 2014, government and tourism industry stakeholders gathered in the Philippines to draft a Tourism Recovery and Rebuilding Plan for the Philippines. This followed PATAs fast track fundraising and disaster supply delivery in December, which was very effectively promoted by media partners Time /CNN.
The March consultation was led by the Philippine Department of Tourism in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Advancing Philippine Competitiveness (COMPETE) project, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and PATA HQ and Chapter.
At the invitation of the Philippine Department of Tourism and USAID, PATA and the UNWTO each nominated and sent a tourism expert to serve as resource person to form an international team to develop a tourism marketing recovery strategy following the October 2013 Bohol earthquake and November 2013 Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), which caused catastrophic destruction in the Eastern Visayas of the Philippines.
PATA representative Ian Cameron, principal consultant with Ian Cameron Associates from Australia and UNWTO consultant Hans Carl Jacobsen undertook two missions. The first was from February 24 to March 12 with the objective of fact finding on the affected areas. The second mission was from March 24 to April 4 and involved insightful discussions with key industry stakeholders and the development of a strategy.
Based on the two mission trips, Bohol was promoted as an eco-cultural destination with its pristine white sand beaches, world class diving sites, centuries old churches and heritage villages. The province is also gifted with unique natural treasures such as the Chocolate Hills, a geological formation comprising over a thousand distinct hills; and the Tarsier, the smallest and oldest primate in the world.