The Department of Tourism should work to transform the country into a sports eco-tourism hub just like what it has done for Camarines Sur, a lawmaker said on Sunday. Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte, a three-term Camarines Sur governor, noted that the Filipinos’ hospitality and fluency in the English language provide an ideal environment for sports eco-tourism just like what happened with the Caramoan Islands and the Camarines Sur Watersports Complex, which hosts wakeboarding events, triathlons, marathons, dragon boat races, trail runs, mountain bike and cycling races and skateboarding and kiteboarding competitions. These activities, Villafuerte said, have created a good market for local food and produce and small-scale enterprises, among others. Government records show that tourism accounts for 8.2 percent of the total gross pomestic product in the country in 2015. The United Nations World Tourism Organization, on the other hand, estimates sports tourism to be a $600-billion market.
LLANESCA T. PANTI