The Department of Tourism (DOT) has conferred on Subic Freeport the most visited tourist destination in Central Luzon title for the second time in a row.
DOT regional director Ronaldo Tiotuico personally made the announcement as he graced Monday the opening program organized by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) in celebration of National Tourism Week.
SBMA chairman Roberto Garcia said the citation validates efforts by the Subic agency and its tourism stakeholders to “bring Subic to the next level.”
Garcia said the SBMA has allotted some Php800 million for capital expenditures this year, which a huge chunk of it will be used to fund the repair of service roads and drainage systems, improvement of parks and tourist facilities as well as the renovation of the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center to make Subic a better place for a better experience.
Tiotuico, who was the SBMA guest of honor for the Tourism Week launch, congratulated the officers and employees of SBMA for working hard to maintain the status of the Subic Freeport as the best tourist destination.
He said Subic registered the highest number of local and foreign tourist arrivals in Central Luzon from 2013 to 2014 based on reports submitted by hotels owners in all the seven provinces and three economic zones here.
He said continuing these efforts will help push for the realization of the 2015 National Tourism Week theme of “One Billion Tourists, One Billion Opportunities.”
Commenting on the citation given by DOT, Garcia noted that in just eight months of 2015, tourist arrivals in Subic Freeport has already registered at 4.3 million or 30% over the arrivals registered in the same period last year.
He also said Subic had earned the distinction of being the “Premier Convention Capital of Central Luzon” in 2012, a title that was also bestowed by the DOT.
Garcia added that he is confident that Subic would maintain the lead in attracting more tourists because of the natural and man-made attractions in the freeport.
“Subic has everything.We have nature-themed parks, some of the best hotels and resorts, and malls in this part of the country; the place is accessible by land, sea and air; and of course, we have year-round activities to make tourists want to visit and stay in Subic,” he said.
Garcia said for the National Tourism Week celebration, SBMA has lined up full events like the Tourism Quiz Bee Challenge held Tuesday (Sept. 22); familiarization tour of theme parks every morning of the Tourism Week; and photo exhibits and lecture-discussions on various tourism topics (Sept. 22-23).
Other activities on schedule are bartending and flair-tending competitions (Sept. 23); body painting contest, and street party (Sept. 25); 3rd IBP Fun Run (Sept. 26); and for the culminating event, an outreach program on Sept. 27 at the Subic Gym. (PNA) FPV/ZST/RAV/PS