• PH named chair of tourism panel

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    The Philippines was unanimously elected as chair of the Regional Commission for East Asia and the Pacific (CAP) during the 21st United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) General Assembly in Medellin, Colombia from 12-18 September.

    The Philippines will serve as chair for tourism development from 2015 to 2017, with Cambodia and Japan as vice chairs, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said on Tuesday.

    “We are very happy about the strong confidence of countries in the Asia Pacific for the Philippines to lead the region. It is an affirmation of the Philippines’ leadership to pursue reforms and address key issues to enhance travel and tourism development in the region to include, among others, domestic tourism, air connectivity and travel facilitation,” DOT Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. said in a statement.

    Six Regional Commissions elected new chairs and vice-chairs for the period 2015-2017 at the Medellin UNWTO assembly.

    The country will also sit as member of the Committee on Statistics and Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) due to its efforts to institutionalize implementation of the TSA in the Philippines, the first in the Asean region, which is in consonance with the UN system of satellite accounting.

    Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary-General, lauded the Philippines for taking the chairmanship, saying it will greatly contribute to the global travel and tourism agenda of increasing competitiveness and promoting sustainable development in the region.

    Asia and the Pacific region is now the fastest global tourism destination with 263 million international arrivals in 2014 with a growth rate of 5.3 percent.

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