• DOT promotes road trips to tourists

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    SUBIC BAY: The Department of Tourism (DOT) and two local automotive clubs are hosting from January 29 to February 2 the “Drive Tourism” conference and the Auto
    and Travel show here to attract tourism in the country through land travel.

    The first Asia Pacific Drive Tourism Conference, Auto and Travel show launched at Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center encourages individuals, families or groups to explore the Philippines through driving or road trips.

    Besides boosting the country’s tourist destinations, Drive Tourism also teaches the viajeros (travelers) to observe traffic rules on the road.

    Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. said the campaign was focused on making driving a pleasurable and safe mode of going around the Philippines.

    “Drive Tourism is where participants move through a tourism highway or road network that allows them to see diverse attractions and experience the local way of life,” said Jimenez.

    The five-day meet is a joint effort by the DOT and Automobile Association of the Philippines, the National Auto Club and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).

    Jimenez added that “as we become more conscious in tourism we will be more conscious of the need for better facilities” and could start with better roads.

    In the first quarter of 2012, 5,021 cases of road accidents in the country were reported with 600 fatalities, a little lower than the 7,717 cases with 700 dead in 2011, according to the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol group.

    Federation Internationale de I’Automibile (FIA) president, Jean Todt, said the Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009 that requires motorcycle riders to wear helmets helped reduce road fatalities over the last three years.

    FIA is the world’s largest group of car clubs and motorsports associations with over 200 member-organizations in 132 countries.

    Jimenez said he was grateful for the overwhelming support of the people for this campaign and boasted an 11.4-percent increase in tourist arrivals from January to September last year.

    The Subic Children’s Road Safety Park was also ground broke and blessed by Father Audi Mazo to make the younger generation aware of the safety rules and regulations for drivers.

    SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia thanked Jimenez for putting Subic Bay on the Top 10 tourist destinations in the Philippines.

    Garcia proudly stated that “SBMA is one of the very few places where people actually follow traffic rules.”

    The Auto and Travel show features super deals in automobiles, tour packages, travel essentials, Filipino regional cuisine and recreational activities at the Children’s Fun plaza rides.

    With reports from SBC News

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