SAN JUAN, Batangas––President Gloria Arroyo Wednesday cited the importance of promoting tourist destinations and the availability of vital infrastructure to attract more tourists and to create more employment for the Filipinos.
In her informal media interaction with members of the Malacanang Press Corps at the Virgin Beach Resort here, the President said tourism creates jobs for all sectors from the professional level to the least skilled.
“Tourism generates jobs,” the President said as she underscored the need to develop good roads and airports that are vital to promote the tourism industry.
The Chief Executive cited as a good example the interaction venue which, she said, has big potentials due to its close proximity to Manila.
“This is one of the closest white beach resorts to Manila because we fixed the roads. Before, it took six hours to come here,” she said.
Mrs. Arroyo also took pride in the country’s other beach resorts and tourist sports, for boosting the tourism industry.
She said investors have started arriving in the Philippines to develop some resorts and hotels in the countryside and even in Metro Manila.
“We have a hotel surge. Every month, there is an opening,” the President said, adding that “a lot of jobs are coming from the tourism industry.”
Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano said tourism is the least affected by the global economic recession among the sectors in the country.
“Tourism and business process outsourcing (BPO) are the least-affected dollar earnings,“ the President concurred.
“With the development going on, it is one sector that is still expanding in terms of investment and employment,” Durano said.
Durano cited as example the newly-inaugurated Banyan Tree in Palawan where thousands of workers have been employed.
After the informal interaction, the President joined members of the Malacanang Press Corps in walking along the seashore, a manifestation of her strong initiative to further promote the tourism industry.
The government has identified the tourism sector as one of the biggest contributors to the government’s goal of creating six to 10 million jobs until 2010. Philippine News Agency