The Philippines will host the World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) 36th Joint Commission Meeting for East Asia and the Pacific and the Commission for South Asia in Cebu next year, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said Saturday.
The successful bid was announced Friday during the 55th Meeting of the UNWTO Regional Commission for East Asia and the Pacific in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
In the same meeting, Manila was elected as chair of the UNWTO Commission for East Asia and the Pacific, and vice president of the UNWTO General Assembly.
The country, as chair, will preside over the meetings to tackle concerns within the region.
According to the DOT, the last time the Philippines was elected vice president to the UNWTO General Assembly was in 1999.
Speaking before the tourism ministers of Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, and Cambodia, as well as UNWTO top executives, Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco said the country is ready to take a primary role in the international tourism scene.
“The vision of our President is for the Philippines to become a tourism powerhouse in Asia,” Frasco said. “We cannot wait to partner and collaborate with all of you as we usher in a golden era of tourism for our regions to become the powerhouse regions in the world.”
She said the country looks forward to hosting the UNWTO member states in 2024.
She also boasted of the event’s location, Cebu, as the region’s cradle of Christianity and as home to Asia’s Best Airport under the five million category of the prestigious Routes Asia.
“We are beyond grateful as we welcome this opportunity to present our bests to the world and for all the member states and affiliates of the UNWTO to be reintroduced to the Philippines – a nation steeped in culture, heritage, and tradition, driven by a young population that is modern with a talent for innovation and entrepreneurship, anchored by our love for country, our sense family and community, our abiding faith, and our willingness to go the extra mile to treat everyone we meet, as we welcome them into our homes, with gracious hospitality, as we are with an abundance of immensely beautiful natural resources across our 7, 641 islands,” she said. (PNA)