MANILA – The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) on Wednesday disclosed its plans to build more ports dedicated to cruise tourism, which would help transform the country into Asia’s next cruise tourism hub.
In a statement, PPA General Manager Jay Santiago said there are plans to build such ports in Coron in Palawan, Siargao, Camiguin, Boracay, and Puerto Galera to provide tourists aboard cruise vessels with a safe and convenient experience.
“Nagsimula na tayo na magtayo ng mga terminals na dedicated lang sa cruise operations. Sinisigurado natin na ang mga pantalan ay kakayanin i-accommodate ang mga naglalakihang cruise ships (We have already begun building terminals dedicated to cruise operations. We assure you that our ports will be capable of accommodating large cruise ships),” Santiago said.
To date, ports under the PPA that cater to cruise ships are those in Currimao in Ilocos Norte, Salomague in Ilocos Sur, Manila, Bohol, and El Nido in Palawan.
“We believe that aside from picturesque tourist destinations, it is the rich culture, desirable local delicacies, and the warmth of the Filipino people that entices foreign tourists to visit the Philippines,” he said.
The announcement came after the Philippines was recognized as Asia's Best Cruise Destination in the latest World Cruise Awards.
“Kami po ay nagagalak at proud na finally, nakakuha ang Pilipinas ng Best Cruise Destination Award na nagpapakita po ng pagkilala sa mga hakbang ng pamahalaan sa pangunguna po ng Department of Tourism (DOT), katulong po ang iba’t-ibang ahensya ng gobyerno, gaya po ng PPA (We are glad and proud that the Philippines finally won this award that recognizes the efforts of the government, led by the DOT, and with the help of other government agencies, such as the PPA),” he said.
Since the resumption of cruise tourism in the country in February until September, the PPA has served 46,657 passengers from ships calling at its ports. (PNA)