SUBIC BAY FREEPORT - Former President Fidel V. Ramos lauded the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) for effectively promoting tourism in the Subic Bay Freeport and providing jobs to thousands of residents in Central Luzon.
Ramos was in Subic with Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengson for the Global Youth Forum 2015 held at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center (SBECC) on Thursday.
Addressing over 700 students and members of the academe from various colleges and universities, as well as representatives from tourism-related businesses and organizations in as far as South Cotabato and Zamboanga City, Ramos cited Subic’s role in job generation, pointing out that the Philippine tourism industry has already provided jobs to millions of Filipinos.
“Tourism is a business where people make profit and create jobs,” Ramos said.
He pointed out that tourism is now one of the world’s biggest industries and that by the year 2020, there will be about 1.6 billion people traveling around the world and spending about US$2-trillion.
Ramos also said that despite the high prices of commodities, people can be thankful that there are government agencies like the SBMA and the Department of Tourism (DoT), which provide people with means of livelihood.
For his part, Undersecretary Bengson said that the tourism industry is the largest income generator in the country, with about P275 billion last year in terms of income by providing one tourism-related job for every ten Filipinos.
Bengson then urged everyone to continue supporting the tourism industry by helping promote local tourism attractions on their network accounts like Facebook and Instagram.
“If one will post on Facebook or Instagram the beautiful places they visited, he or she will actually be promoting the places with 10 of his or her friends, who then will share the same to their friends and so on,” he said.
The forum was organized by the International School of Sustainable Tourism, DoT, Tourism Promotions Board of the Philippines, and Agrea Agricultural System Intl., Inc. to create awareness among the youth of the many opportunities in the tourism industry, and to highlight lessons learned from successful tourism ventures and expose government workers to best practices and success stories.
The three-day activity featured five sessions that each focused on topics like “The Country’s Future- Getting Youth into Tourism Jobs”; “Sowers of Change- Education”; “Creating opportunities for Dialogue and Encounter- Social Media and IT”; “Economic Development in the Countryside versus Environmental Concerns”; and “Global Market for Local Talents- ASEAN Youth on the Move.”
Invited speakers included Efren Peñaflorida, the CNN Hero and founder of Kariton Foundation; Pocholo Gonzales, author and public speaker on youth culture, media and technology; and Durrie Hassan, executive director of Carlton Mansfield Ltd., Malaysia. (30)
Former President Fidel V. Ramos views pictures on display at the SBMA office with SBMA Chairman Roberto V. Garcia during a visit to the Subic Bay Freeport recently.