The Philippines has been unanimously elected as chair of the Regional Commission for East Asia and the Pacific (CAP) during the 21st United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) general assembly, the Department of Tourism (DOT) revealed on Tuesday. DOT said the Philippines will serve as chair for the period 2015-2017 while Cambodia and Japan will be vice chairs.
During the general assembly held in Medellin, Colombia late last month, UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai lauded the Philippines for taking the chairmanship and said it will contribute to the global travel and tourism agenda of increasing competitiveness and promoting sustainable development in the region.
Asia and the Pacific region is now the fastest global tourism destination with 263 million international arrivals in 2014 with a growth rate of 5.3 percent.
The five other commissions and their respective chairs (C) and vice-chairs (VCs) are: Africa – Zimbabwe (C) and Cameroon and Cote d’Ivoire (VCs); the Americas – Haiti (C) and Paraguay and Chile (VCs); Europe – Switzerland (C) and Montenegro and Lithuania; South Asia – India (C) and Bangladesh and Afghanistan (VCs); and the Middle East – Lebanon (C) and Egypt and Jemen (VCs).
DOT Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. welcomed the country’s latest achievement.
“It is an affirmation of the Philippines’ leadership to pursue reforms and address key issues to enhance travel and tourism development in the region, to include, among others, domestic tourism, air connectivity, and travel facilitation,” Jimenez said in a statement. Aside from being CAP Chair, the Philippines will also sit as member of the Committee on Statistics and Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) owing to its efforts of institutionalizing the implementation of the TSA in the country.
The Philippines is the first in the ASEAN region which is in consonance with the UN system of satellite accounting.