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Creation of tourism economic zones sought
Source: Manila Bulletin
Author: Lynda B. Valencia
Date: 2002-09-04
Tourism Secretary Richard Gordon urged the creation of tourism enterprise zones in key tourist areas in order to spread tourism investments in the country.

He also said that these zones are also aimed at countering the rising migration of business operations to China that would affect the Philippine economy. “China is going to corner more of the investments traditionally coursed through the Philippines and we will lose more and more of these investments,’’ he said.

The DoT chief said the special economic zones will increase the productivity of the people and their family income in the rural areas at the same time improve the level and quality of their living condition.

The proposal of creating tourism economic zones gets the full backing from President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. She told both local and foreign delegates of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), during its Board of Directors Meeting and a welcome dinner reception held recently at the Malacañang Palace, that the government envisioned tourism economic zone as the main focus of tourism investment opportunities in 2010.

According to the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), the tourism enterprise zones are ideal vehicles for focus development at the local level. These zones will be located in a larger destination area that will receive focus and high-impact development of resources.

Tourism economic zone would either be a continuous land or group of islands, or it could be an entirely new development or redevelopment of an existing area. It could also be a public land or consolidated private land.

The Department of Tourism (DoT) has identified some of the key tourist spots that needed expansion and upgrading. The tourism places which need upgrading to international standards are Coron, Palawan; Bohol, and Boracay among others.

The President noted that visitors to the country have certain favorite destinations in the Philippines. Among the favorite special interest destination of visitors to the Philippines are Boracay and the Baguio-Banaue circuit. “For these special interest destinations, we shall increase their accessibility and improve their existing product offering.”

The presence of international airports in the North Philippines makes Laoag-Vigan and Clark-Subic viable tourists destinations so that more attractions will be developed in these areas.

The Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) in Pampanga is the best example of a tourism enterprise zone which is an accessible destination that takes pride in its world-class, tourist friendly facilities and trade viability that draw in both local and foreign tourists and investors.

Today, Clark will soon be converted into Asia’s first billion-dollar earning aerotropolis. It will make historical Clark, the formerly U.S. military airbase, a business stronghold in the region and it will be a great economic turnaround not just for the region but for the whole country as well. (PNA)

[ Clark Special Economic Zone Wiki | Malacañang Palace Wiki ]

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