Tourism industry takes centerstage

Expanding the country’s tourism infrastructure, harnessing opportunities that a strong recreation and retirement industry could bring are topics that take center stage in the upcoming national convention of Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Associations (Creba).

tourism philippinesSlated from Oct. 8 to 10, the national convention is considered the biggest gathering of stakeholders in the real estate industry, according to Creba national president Dr. Jaime Cura.

“With our theme for this year, ‘Pinoy Economic Stimuli Amid Globa Recession: Mass Housing and World-Class Tourism’, we wanted this year’s convention to harness the great oppurtunities in tourism, recreation and retirement, which incidentally, are priority programs of President Macapagal-Arroyo to overcome the effects of the global financial crisis,” Cura explained.

He also anounced that President Arroyo and Vice President Noli de Castro, who also chairs the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council leads to the list of speakers attending the national convention,” said Domingo De Vera, overall convention chair.

Unprecedented initiative
De Vera added that Creba has always been pushing unprecendented initiatives to support government goals so the President and Vice President will be joined by other government officials in the housing and finance sectors as well as private sector leaders and businessmen, and local government sector representatives.

“They will all be there at the Cagayan de Oro City in the province of Misamis Oriental, joining Crebas’s delegates drom 50 chapters,” De Vera said.

Convention activities will all be held at the Grand Caprice Convention Hall of the Limketkai Center.

Cura said that during the convention, Creba members as well as industry colleagues will be updated on business trends and concerns as well as expand business and professional linkages.

“We will also discuss the opportunities that await our members with regard to the signing of Republic Acct 9593 or The National Tourism Act of 2009, which declares a national policy for tourism as an engine of investment, employment, growth and national development, and strengthens the Department of Tourism and its attached agencies,” Cura said.

He said the newly signed law will greatly benefit the country considering that the Philippines only have around 3 to 4 million visitors a year, which is too low compared to other Southeast Asian countries that register double digit. In fact, the tiny island nation of Singapore has 9 to 9.5 million visitor arrivals a year.

In this regard, Cura said “Emerging Developments in Philippine Real Estate: Impact on Housing and Tourism; The Tourism Act of 2009: Ensuring Global Competitiveness for Philippine Tourism; and The Philippines: A Second Home for Global Retirees; and Integrated Resorts (Tourism Ecozones) for World-Class Tourism are among the topics in the plenary session.

“Aside from these topics, the convention will also tackle forging policy recommendations and working relationships among government and private sectors for effective economic stimuli through mass housing projects and tourism development projects,” he said.-by Charles E. Buban