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Philippines voted chair of UN tourism body in East Asia Pacific

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines is set to lead the East Asia and Pacific region in tourism development as chair of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Commission for East Asia and the Pacific (CAP).

The Department of Tourism (DOT) said the country was unanimously elected CAP chair for 2015-2017 during the 21st UNWTO General Assembly in Colombia last month.

Cambodia and Japan, meanwhile, were voted as vice chairs for the region.

“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,” DOT Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. said.

The Philippines will also sit as member of the Committee on Statistics and Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) in its efforts of institutionalizing the implementation of the TSA in the country, the first in the Southeast Asian region, which is in consonance with the UN system of satellite accounting.

UNWTO secretary general Taleb Rifai lauded the Philippines for taking the chairmanship and said it will greatly contribute to the global travel and tourism agenda of increasing competitiveness and promoting sustainable development in the region.

The Asia and Pacific region is now the fastest growing global tourism destination with 263 million international arrivals last year, expanding 5.3 percent.

The other five chairs include Zimbabwe for Africa, Haiti for the Americas, Switzerland for Europe, India for South Asia and Lebanon for the Middle East.

ASIA AND PACIFIC

CAMBODIA AND JAPAN

DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM

EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC

EAST ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

GENERAL ASSEMBLY

MIDDLE EAST

SECRETARY RAMON JIMENEZ JR.

SOUTH ASIA AND LEBANON

SOUTHEAST ASIAN

TOURISM

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