PH rallies support for UNWTO hosting bid

<p>Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat <em>(PNA file photo)</em></p>

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat (PNA file photo)

MANILA -- The Philippine government, through the Department of Tourism (DOT), rallied support from the members of the diplomatic corps in Manila on the country's bid to host the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) General Assembly in the Philippines.

The call for support was made by Tourism chief Bernadette Romulo-Puyat during a lunch reception hosted for foreign diplomats representing the member-states of the international body at the historic Marble Hall, Ayuntamiento de Manila, Intramuros on Wednesday.

“Taking the lead at the UNWTO General Assembly is consistent with the Department of Tourism's advocacy to promote awareness for responsible travel and tourism that is meaningful not only for the traveler but more so for the communities whose quality of life is uplifted by tourism," Romulo-Puyat said in her speech.

"The Philippines wants to hold itself accountable and committed to building a tourism sector that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impact,” she added.

The Philippine government first floated its interest to host the 2021 UNWTO General Assembly last June during Romulo-Puyat's visit to Bhutan for the 31st UNWTO and Related Meetings.

The country's bid is timed with the celebration of the quincentennial anniversary of the world’s first circumnavigation in 1521, which was completed when Ferdinand Magellan's Spanish expedition arrived in Cebu.

“Beyond the work that has and is continuously being put forward, it is likewise very timely that the Philippines welcomes the world for this assembly in time for the quincentennial celebration of the first successful circumnavigation of the world," Romulo-Puyat said.

"An event of great significance to mankind, a triumph in travel and exploration, one that has the Philippines in the center of it all," she added.

Following the lunch reception, the guests were treated to a quick visit to Sala de Sesiones of the Ayuntamiento de Manila and a tour of the Walled City of Intramuros. (DOT PR)