THE Philippines has the potential to become the most popular tourist destination in the Asia-Pacific region — and it will be as soon as the government puts up more attractive infrastructure aside from just improving or renovating existing tour spots and sites.
This was the assessment of Nikita Osharov, Philippine Russian Business Assembly’s (PRBA) tourism committee chairman, during the media launching of the 2nd Philippine Russian Business Forum and Exhibition last week at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino.
Osharov said the country needs more resorts, water themeparks, and intelligent transport systems and has to decongest the traffic and improve its water and sewerage systems to make itself known as a complete tourist destination.
“First day – city tour, second – go to the idyllic beaches, third – go diving, and then what?” Osharov asked. “The Philippines really need more infrastructure for tourists.”
“I don’t expect the new administration to focus on tourism, but I hope it won’t be neglected,” Osharov added.
“Tourism is the entry for trade and investment, that’s why we are taking a step further this year by focusing on trade and investment, and the expansion of tourism,” Honorary Consul of Russia to the Visayas Armi Lopez Garcia, for her part, said.
Aside from Consul Garcia and Osharov, PRBA vice chairperson for investment Dr. Alberto Fenix, PRBA treasurer Gerry Sta. Ana and Philippine Exhibits and Themeparks Corporation (PETCO) chairman Jose Luis Yulo Jr. also graced last week’s media launching.
Fenix talked about business opportunities that will expand trade and investments between the Philippines and Russia, while Yulo discussed the programs lined up for this year’s Forum and Exhibition, which will be held on Oct. 21-24 at the Cebu International Convention Center in Mandaue City.
Also in attendance were members of the media from the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Business World, Sun.Star Cebu, Cebu Daily News, The Freeman, GMA-7, IBC-13, and Wealth TV.
The 2nd Philippine Russian Business Forum and Exhibition is organized by the PRBA, Embassy of the Russian Federation, and PETCO, in cooperation with the Province of Cebu, City of Mandaue, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Tourism, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Cebu Business Club, and the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry.