President Aquino declares 2015 as Visit the Philippines Year

By Leslie D. Venzon

MANILA, April 8 (PNA) — President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared 2015 as Visit the Philippines Year (VPY), as he enjoined closer collaboration between the public and private sectors to initiate programs, projects and events that are geared towards promoting tourism in the country.

In Proclamation No. 991 issued last March 30, President Aquino said the Philippines hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2015 and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Tourism Forum next year will both serve as a venue to promote the country as a host for Meetings, Conventions, and Exhibitions in the Asia-Pacific.

He urged public and private sectors to consolidate their activities and products into one calendar of events to showcase the outstanding work of Filipinos in music and arts, lifestyle and entertainment, sports and adventure, business and history and culture.

President Aquino said they should also unveil the “many historic treasures, natural wonders and unforgettable adventures of the country.”

“Tourism can be used to mobilize resources for enhancing infrastructure and product development, generate employment and stimulate investments,” he noted.

The Chief Executive also underscored the need for closer collaboration between the public and private sectors and the international community in hosting events that attract international visitors and showcase local talent and skills.

President Aquino said all departments and bureaus of the national government as well as local government units are enjoined to give full support and cooperation to the Department of Tourism (DOT) in the exercise of its tasks.

Likewise, all Philippine embassies and consular offices, as well as the Department of Trade and Industry and DOT foreign offices, shall ensure the publicity and dissemination of information pertaining to the VPY 2015.

On the other hand, the private sector, especially those companies involved in the business of hotel and lodging, travel and tours and transportation, are encouraged to support the VPY 2015 by developing relevant tour programs and packages for both foreign and local tourists. (PNA)