Bicol tourism posts impressive growth


NAGA CITY — After the success of the 21st Philippine Travel Mart Roadshow held in June this year, the Bicol Regional Tourism Council (BRTC) chaired by Danny De Leon, is all geared up for more tourism related  events that are soon to happen in the region.

This was disclosed by De Leon during the Naga City Tourism Council meeting held June 13 at Lolo’s Bar here. “We need a tourism council that will evolve around strategic alliances. We also intend to build collaborative networks with both the private and the government sectors, not just in the local level, but also in the national and international echelon,” De Leon said.

De Leon also pointed out that their group envisions a tourism council that would champion the private sector’s initiatives. “The private sector can very well complement with the government’s programs and projects. All we need to do is explore to an optimum level what areas of cooperation and complementation can both sector give to come up with a fruitful partnership.”

Key tourism players have all the reason to rejoice with the tourism industry now posing an upswing trend. In 2009, Bicol registered 2.2 milion tourist arrivals, an  increase of 75 percent compared to figures recorded in 2008. It resulted to a whopping P1.3 billion in gross revenue and 77 percent  growth rate in receipts.

The positive trend also generated jobs for the Bicolanos. In 2007, 317,874 were reportedly employed by various offices and organizations. It surged in 2008 with 499,336 job opportunities. With the efforts exerted by tourism stakeholders, employed individuals in tourism -related ventures reached 1.1 million.

The first quarter of 2010 posted a more affirmative outlook with the percentage of tourist arrivals of 13 percent rate higher than the same period last year. From January to March this year,  593,241 tourist arrivals were recorded resulting to a gross receipt of P365 million.

De Leon said that with the potentials that are still left untapped, there is a great possibility that Bicol can double or even triple the recorded statistics.

“One of our objectives is to standardize and professionalize tourism and hospitality services attuned to industry trends and demands of the times. We would also organize activities and sustain efforts linking members to tourism-related institutions and organizations as partners.”

De Leon is optimistic that the Bicol Region will continue to gain increasing growth in tourism in the next years to come.


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