Tourism still resilient amid crisis, says DOT

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 03 2009 05:10 PM | Updated as of Feb 04 2009 01:35 AM

Even with the global financial crisis, investments in the tourism sector have remained as the country's major growth source, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said.

Tourism Secretary Ace Durano said the DOT has been successful in its efforts to attract more foreign investments in the country such as the recent project of Korean-led Philippine BXT Corp. in Mactan Island, Cebu.

"Their major decision to invest in the country despite the global economic situation signals foreign investors' confidence in the country's potential and affirms us of the Philippines' viable assets," Durano said in a statement.

Philippine BXT Corp.'s Imperial Palace Water Resort and Spa in Mactan Island, Cebu was granted the special economic zone status last January 30, the first tourism ecozone to be operational in the country under Presidential Proclamation No. 1681.

DOT Undersecretary for Tourism Planning and Promotions Eduardo Jarque Jr. said the resort is a welcome addition to address the increasing requirement for more tourism accommodations.

"This is indeed a tourism and an economic milestone; sending a message of optimism in the industry as the country's top major growth source," Jarque said.

"The property, aside from being another major tourism destination in Mactan Island, will certainly complement the popular island attractions of Cebu, as this responds to the need for more tourist accommodations.  This growing demand is a positive sign that the country's tourism industry is as vibrant as ever," he added.

The Imperial Palace Waterpark is located on a 8-hectare property in Maribago, Mactan Island, Cebu, and features 557 luxuriously designed deluxe rooms, suites, and pool villas. It also has a 6,188 square meter pool, a spa, and a private beach. 

Jarque said Imperial Palace Waterpark is one of the country's biggest investments in tourism development, and the first among the international chain of hotels set to flourish in the Philippines.

 "This major venture will give rise to the number of rooms available in the country, which is timely since tourism arrivals in Cebu have increased quite remarkably in the previous year," he said.