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Thursday, July 21, 2011
Angara bats to create a world-class infra to boost Phl tourism industry
MANILA, July 21, 2011-To create world-class infrastructure that would boost tourism industry throughout the country, Senator Edgardo J. Angara bats the government and the private sector to work hand-in-hand in his goal for better development of the country in his keynote address at the 4th General Membership Meeting of the Philippine Travel Agencies Association.
Angara revealed that the Philippines ranked 94th out of 139 countries in the World Economic Forum (WEF) Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2011 on a global scale, and 18th of 26 in the Asia-Pacific regional index despite offering some of the best value-for-money tourist prices.
“One of the reasons for this is the dismal state of infrastructure in the country and we belong to the bottom quartile of the index in most aspects of infrastructure,” Angara lamented, figuring in air transport, 112th; roads, 114th; and 131st in both port infrastructure and ground transport network.
Senator Edgardo J. Angara
“We may have the most breathtaking sights and gorgeous seascapes, but without the necessary infrastructure, tourists will not be able to get to them with ease, if at all,” Angara added.
World Bank study revealed that asserting that the poor quality of infrastructure curbs tourism by impeding mobility, allowing only limited choices of transport and raising vehicle operating cost per kilometer. Studies of the World Bank also show a positive correlation between the quality of airports and the number of foreign tourist arrivals.
Angara is taking steps to ensure that such quality infrastructure is built in the Philippines, beginning in his hometown province in Aurora. The Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (APECO) is an emerging haven that exhibits the marriage of nature and modernization, adding that to encourage access to the area, while preserving the biodiversity, roads and airport have been built.
APECO office, Casiguran, Aurora.
Earlier, four (4) Taiwanese companies signed up to locate in Aurora as they believe that APECO generates greater interest among international investors.
Angara is optimistic that this vision can become a reality in the near future, the first in the regions and to the nation at large.
It is being primed as the country’s premier Gateway to the Pacific due to its strategic location where its accessibility to Manila and to other logistic and investment hubs in Luzon via land, water and air that makes it ideal for business climate. (Jason de Asis)