BY JOHNNY NOVERA
IN our column of July 29, 2014, we talked about Iloilo’s selection as host of two meetings from 10 member-countries in the forthcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit scheduled from September 21 to October 6, 2015, with about 1,600 delegates attending.
The Philippines is joining a move in the Asia-Pacific region composed of 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member-countries to open our borders not only to banking but to other kinds of trading without restriction.
With our designation as host of the Summit, what will also be interesting for us Ilonggos is the opportunity to interact with fellow Asians and pursue the tourism aspect of this regional meet, especially that many of the delegates are first-time visitors to Iloilo.
We suggested in our previous article that our Department of Tourism (DOT) can probably create and tie up a tour program on the side of APEC activities that will promote stronger relations and fellowship among us Asians.
Our hotels, restaurants and resorts should see this opportunity to offer group promo rates for delegates who will come with families or friends and enjoy Iloilo during and after the official activities.
Another aspect that we must look into is whether or not we have enough tourist guides to handle this big group of foreign delegates to the summit. It is not too late for DOT or the resorts and the hotels themselves to start recruiting and training their own in preparation for the coming event.
In our case, we came only to appreciate so much foreign travel when we joined a guided tour that brought us to see seven cities in Europe a few years ago. We did not only enjoy the sights but brought home great knowledge of the great cities and destinations in our itinerary because of our very knowledgeable and trained guide.
We should do no less for APEC delegates especially that we are only neighbors and there is a good chance for them to visit us again and again. (For comments or reactions, please e-mail to [email protected])/PN