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Subic Bay tourism groups and stakeholders organize New ‘Subik’ tourist destination is born
Source: Manila Bulletin
Author: -
Date: 2005-03-05
Driven by a common goal and vision towards the betterment of the tourism industry in the country, various tourism organizations and stakeholders around Subic Bay have united to form the Greater Subic Bay Tourism Bureau (GSBTB) that will spearhead the new "SUBIK" tourist destination.

With a fresh name intended to accentuate GSBTB’s optimistic view to regain the prestige of Subic Bay, particularly in maximizing the area’s vast tourism potentials, SUBIK is envisioned to make the market area – composed of Bataan, Olongapo, Subic Bay Freeport, and Zambales – the ultimate vacation haven and convention center for both local and foreign tourists.

In its recent induction of officers held at Legenda Hotel, GSBTB chairman George Lorenzana of White Rock and Mt. Woods Resort Hotels said SUBIK’s vision centers on the total enhancement of Subic Bay and its adjoining areas into a secure, competent, sustainable, ecologically sound tourism and vacation mecca in the Asia-Pacific region. With GSBTB’s core of competent stakeholders as board members and the strong support of its Board of Advisers mostly composed of political leaders in the area, and the SBMA leadership plus the active participation of member-organizations, Lorenzana noted that in due time, the Bureau’s efforts will eventually bear its fruit, not only for SUBIK but for the entire country.

GSBTB’s other officers are: John Corcoran of Ocean Adventure as vice-chairman, Cheryl Singson of Legend Intl. Resorts Ltd. as secretary, Linda Lim of the Olongapo Tourism Council as treasurer and chair for Ways and Means, and Bayani Chavez of Zambales Tourism Council as auditor.

Other members of the Board of Directors who also act as committee chairpersons are Gabby la O’ of El Kabayo Riding Stables for Tourist Attractions/Beautification; Francis Elum of Grande Island Resort for Hotels, Resorts, Spas; Nanik Sadhwani of Duty Free Shop for Shopping/Retailing; Vicky Garcia of Bataan Tourism Council; Victoria Gonzales of Bagac-Morong Resort Association; Jocelyn David of Bataan Hotel and Restaurant Operators Association; Sotero Gan, committee chairman for Entertainment/Nightlife of Olongapo Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce; Carlos Gamboa of Olongapo Chamber of Commerce; Dr. Teresa Yap of Zambales Tourism Council for Education, Culture, Training; and Sonny Almazan for Security/Safety, also of Zambales Tourism Council.

Other committees are for Subic Bay Enhancements/Bantay-Dagat chaired by Carlito Baloy of Baloy Beach; Tourism Activities, Sports Events, Youth Programs chaired by George Ramirez; Marketing Services, Sales, and Promotion chaired by Raymund Siongco; Membership and Secretariat chaired by Patrick Escusa; and Traffic and Transportation Services chaired by Eloy Pineda of InterIsland Tours and Transport.

GSBTB is composed of 12 committees that will implement the bureau’s vision and strategies. These strategies are: Enhancement of attraction locations within the Greater Subic Bay (GSB) area through continuous beautification programs and upgrading; coordinate with government agencies, NGOs and affiliated entities for maritime safety, security, sanitation and hygiene, and reforestation, development of water sports activities, relentless education of inhabitants along the coastline and river banks and fisher folk to instill active volunteerism in the upkeep of the bay and coral reefs; develop and implement policies and guidelines for hotels and resorts; develop linkages to provide value for money tour packages; provide fast and comfortable routes or access points into and around SUBIK through coordination with government and public transport companies; support at least two world-class nightclubs and original cultural shows that give wholesome service and entertainment to tourists; develop oriental style spas and wellness cohesive nightlife; and develop a jingle on Subik for international distribution.

The committees will also help make Subik a conducive venue for various local and foreign events depicting the area as an ideal, safe, and dynamic place for fun, leisure; facilitate the cultivation of a "service culture" throughout the SUBIK area; create a shopping area/tiangge where all exhibitors converge to create a shopping haven and serve as outlets for local and foreign products, especially the famous Zambales mangoes; coordinate a 24-hour security with the help of local police and participation of school cadets; and create a SUBIK newsletter that will monitor tourism establishments and activities and aid in soliciting financial support, sponsorships, and volunteer work from members.

In its thrust to help develop Subik as a convention center, the bureau has set its sights on two convention centers – in SBMA and Olongapo. It will assist in making them more accessible to hotels in the area and implementing projects that will beautify and smoothen traffic flow and signages to and from the convention centers.

"The synergy and the formatting of a more viable ‘critical mass’ coming from Subik’s tourism assets and active business sectors are string catalysts to SUBIK’s development as a convention center," Lorenzana said.

Also lined up is the development and promotion of various historical places, among which is Lubao, eyed as a viable gateway to Subik such as the Macapagal ancestral home and the 400-year-old Lubao Church, both ideal for educational tours. Other known tourist attractions are the Bataan Memorial in Mt. Samat, the verdant forests of SBMA, Subic Bay and the Subic Sunset resorts, not to mention the various water sports activities such as those offered in Ocean Adventure, El Kabayo, Grande Island, and many others.

On the promising economic scenario looming clearly ahead for Subik, Lorenzana is confident the achievements of the bureau will help uplift the socio-economic structure of the community in a sustainable manner, and could very well serve as an example of what our country can do if business, the government, and the community act together.


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