CLTISBEX SUMMIT. DOT-3 regional director Carolina Uy, TIEZA assistant COO Atty. Karen Sariñas-Baydo, PRA head of Clark-Subic satellite office Scarlet Letim-Lachica, and PPP deputy executive director Eleazar Ricote during the question and answer portion. Photo by Joann Manabat
CLARK FREEPORT – With the potential growth of Central Luzon as the preferred destination for tourism-industry businesses, the Department of Tourism – Region III spearheaded the Central Luzon Tourism Investment Summit and Business Exchange (CLTISBEX) at the Hilton Clark Sun Valley Resort set on May 4-5.
Together with the Tourism Promotions Board and Subic-Clark Alliance for Development, the two-day summit aims to present investment opportunities from the freeport zones as well as its neighboring provinces and convince local and foreign investors why they should invest in the region.
The first day of the summit was attended by DOT-3 regional director Carolina Uy, Clark Development Corp president and CEO retired PBGen. Manuel Gaerlan and vice president for business development and enhancement group Rynah Ventura, Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority assistant COO Atty. Karen Sariñas-Baydo, Philippine Retirement Authority Clark-Subic satellite office head Scarlet Letim-Lachica, and Public-Private Partnership Center deputy executive director Eleazar Ricote, Bases Conversion Development Authority senior vice president for business development group Engr. Joshua Bincang, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority chief of staff Atty. John Aquino, Department of Trade and Industry regional director Leonila Baluyut, Freeport Area of Bataan business development marketing specialist Kelvin Rae Rodriguez, Nueva Ecija Provincial tourism officer Atty. Jose Maria Caesar San Pedro, and Palayan City and San Jose del Monte Bulacan tourism officers Princess Kriziah Camacho and Roberto Peralta Ramirez Jr.
Based on the DOT database, the foreign tourist arrivals in the country have reached 202,700 as of April 7. The United States topped the list with 43, 744 visitors since the country reopened its borders to foreign leisure tourists followed by Canada with 9,618, United Kingdom with 9,315, South Korea with 8,440, and Australia with 8,212 tourists.
With the nearing transition of the administration through the upcoming national election, Uy said DOT will still focus on the tourism investment areas from the freeport zones, BCDA, and TIEZA. She noted that they have already devolved some functions in the national government to the local government units as the plan for the tourism and economic recovery continues.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to showcase and offer not only to the locals but to foreign investors as well. We have devolved some of the functions ng national government agencies. We expect in the months and weeks to come that we could continue cascading to them the plans and strategies that we have,” said Uy.
“Hindi kami titigil in collaborating with our LGUs providing them technical assistance that they need especially in coming up with their loca tourism development plans for the next administration either short or medium terms lahat po we will make sure na iaanchor lahat yan sa goals,” Uy added.
The CLTISBEX showcased pre-selected areas and projects that were presented to local and foreign investors, as well as virtual business-to-business and networking sessions. Business developers and other potential investors from both local and foreign offices also joined via virtual platform to learn more about the tourism investment opportunities in the region.
The country, through Philippine Retirement Authority, also presented its offerings as part of tourism promotion to be the preferred long term and long-stay tourism via international retirement migration through continuous cycle of consumption and investment based on international demands and retirement needs.
The PPPC also presented its proposals with its sustainable infrastructure projects that directly address the impact of climate change and other environmental sustainability issues by incorporating such measures in its projects, development of policies in protected areas, and risk resiliency programs with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Biodiversity Management Bureau.
As the new Clark International Airport passenger terminal 2 begins its operation on Monday, May 2, the CLTISBEX summit has strengthened its position to be the preferred investment and tourism destination in the Asia Pacific Region.