Lucy invites bizmen in Spain: Invest in Phl tourism

Lalaine Jimenea (The Freeman) - May 9, 2018 - 12:00am

ORMOC CITY, Philippines — Representative Lucy Torres Gomez (4th district, Leyte), chairman of the House committee on tourism, had invited potential investors around the world to enter the Philippine’s tourism industry.

“Come and invest in tourism in the Philippines. We are open for business. In the grand scheme of things, we are but a small speck of the map of the world, but we are a diamond in the rough, waiting for our facets to be polished, waiting for our time to shine,” Lucy told the delegates to the Smart Island World Congress held in Mallorca, Spain from April 24 to 26.

Lucy and her husband, Mayor Richard Gomez, attended the Congress to represent the House of Representatives and the Ormoc City government, respectively.

“We have world class natural resources which we have to match with quality world class service. When this has been achieved, all we have to worry about is how to sustain the growth having all the ingredients,” Lucy said in her speech at the international event.

The Smart Island World Congress was a gathering of people from “smart islands” around the world, where experts and island representatives meet and share experiences on how to take on the challenges of managing islands in terms of efficiency, urban planning, and social and economic development in the global era.

Lucy said she was inviting the Congress participants to give the Philippines a look. The Philippines was “emerging as one of the robust economies in the 21st century” and that its GDP grew by 6.7 percent in 2017 and is expected to be sustained until 2020, said the female legislator from Ormoc City.

She added that a lead contributor to the growth is the tourism industry, which “is growing faster than the general economy by 13.7 percent.”

Lucy showed to the Congress a slide presentation of some of the country’s top tourist spots, among them were Mount Mayon, Taal Volcano, Banawe Rice Terraces, Chocolate Hills, the beaches, and Lake Danao in Ormoc City.

“For those of you who want to be in the right place and the right time in your investments, your destination is the tourism industry in the Philippines,” she said, adding that, as House tourism chair, she filed a bill seeking to make the industry sustainable by developing the country’s human resources, especially those in the “bottom 20 percent.”

If her bill is passed and enacted, this will provide tourism related training to people even those who have not graduated from high school. “Skills taught will match the skills required,” she said, citing frontline services.

An added bonus, she added, is that Filipinos were naturally hospitable and spoke good English. “English with a smile comes in abundance,” she told Congress participants. (FREEMAN)

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