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PIA Press Release

Cebu to bid for world gathering of tourism leaders in 2010

Cebu City (3 October) -- A tourism executive plans to bid Cebu province for the hosting of an annual international gathering of tourism leaders in 2010.

According to SKAL International-Philippines president Charles Lim, the World Congress of the tourism-oriented organization gathering around 1,500 delegates worldwide, would open wide opportunities in the country should Cebu get to host the global event.

Cebu's hosting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in December is an added advantage to this bid, he said.

"If Cebu gets to host the event, it would surely boost the tourism and travel industry of the province and the whole country," Lim said.

Pattaya, Thailand will hold this year's World Congress followed by Antalya, Turkey in 2007 and Taipei, Taiwan in 2008.

Lim said he plans to bid specially for the 2010 World Congress and is banking on the growing SKAL membership in the country to support him in his bid to host the international event.

In the Philippines, there are about 450 individual members in SKAL's four active chapters in Manila, Makati, Cebu and Davao.

SKAL International Makati chapter president Robert Lim Joseph has earlier noted the benefits of hosting international events in the local economy.

"With each foreign tourist spending between $750 and $1,000 for a three-night-four-day stay in Cebu, a minimum of P50 million will go to the local economy once Cebu gets to host the 1,500-delegate SKAL World Congress," Joseph said.

Joseph, however, said a greater challenge awaits Cebu in providing a good impression to the SKAL delegates, who are front liners in the tourism industry.

"Cebu, if it wins the bid, will have the opportunity to promote Cebu directly to the industry representatives," said Joseph.

SKAL, a professional organization of tourism leaders around the world, is the only international group uniting all branches of the travel and tourism industry, he said.

The organization, founded in 1932, promotes global tourism and friendship among its 22,000 members in 500 clubs throughout 90 nations.

SKAL's World Congress gathers delegates to elect a seven-member executive committee that governs the organization. The gathering also allows members first-hand observation of the travel and tourism potential around the world.

Lim said SKAL is going to expand its membership in the Philippines and prioritize in developing several chapters in other cities like Bacolod and Subic.

The organization, he added, is also moving towards forming a "young" SKAL circle, targeting the young professionals aged below 29 years old.

Membership of SKAL is open to managers or executives directly involved in tourism management, sales and promotions, in specified travel and tourism businesses, including: transportation (airlines, cruise lines, railways, ferries), travel and tour operators and agencies, tourism organizations, and travel media, among others. (PIA/gfg) [top]

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