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PIA Press Release

PGMA to lead inauguration of Poro Point Tourism Complex

Poro Point Freeport Zone (27 May) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo leads today's (27 May 2008 - Tuesday) inauguration rites for a luxury hotel and a world-class nine-hole golf course here meant to put San Fernando City, La Union at the world map of major tourist and recreation destinations.

The President is expected to arrive at the Poro Point Freeport Zone in the morning and will be accompanied by members of her official family, notably Tourism Secretary Ace Durano, and Trade and Industry Secretary Peter Favila.

On hand to welcome Mrs. Arroyo are Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) Chairman Aloysius Santos, BCDA President and CEO Narciso Abaya, Thunderbird Resorts Inc. Chief Executive Officer for Philippine Operations Raul Sueiro, La Union Gov. Manuel Ortega, Rep. Victor Ortega, San Fernando Mayor Pablo Ortega, and the BCDA and Poro Point Management Corporation (PPMC) Board of Directors.

The Poro Point Freeport Zone is under the stewardship of the BCDA through its subsidiary, PPMC.

President Arroyo is expected to lead in the unveiling of the Thunderbird Resort-Poro Point Hotel and Golf Course marker.

Thunderbird has leased some 65.5 hectares of land in the Poro Point Freeport Zone that it is developing into a leisure resort, sports, entertainment and tourism complex.

Thunderbird has so far infused some P700 million in the development of the Poro Point over the past three years. Thunderbird has committed to invest $100 million over a 25-year period. It has also contributed P55 million for the upgrade of the San Fernando Airport to enable it to accommodate larger aircraft like Airbus 320 and Boeing 737. The expansion project is slated for completion by year-end.

Underscoring the significance of a fully developed Poro Point Special Economic and Freeport Zone, Abaya said that with the tourism infrastructures in place, Poro Point will attract both local and foreign tourists. "Increased tourist spending will augur well for the economy of La Union," Abaya said.

Prior to the completion of the hotel and golf course in Poro Point, Thunderbird already operates a 75-seat fine dining restaurant and entertainment complex.

With Thunderbird's all-out pursuit of its program to develop Poro Point into an "ideal tourist destination," complemented by BCDA's upgrading of the San Fernando Airport to ensure easier access to Poro Point, trade and commerce in San Fernando and its neighboring areas are likely to increase significantly.

Among the major benefits of Thunderbird's investment in Poro Point is the increased number of permanent, full-time job opportunities to the people of La Union.

Thunderbird is committed to source at least 85 percent of its workforce from San Fernando City and the Province of La Union.

Thunderbird Director for Marketing Cheryl Arnold said, the resort features 36 well-appointed luxury suites. Each of the hotel's 45-square meter suite comes with exclusive amenities such as double-sized beds, a walk-in closet, a bathroom with separate shower and hot tub, hi-speed wireless internet, iPod with docking station & surround sound system, coffee and tea maker, in-room electronic safe, and a balcony that offers breathtaking view of the South China.

The Cliffs Golf Course, on the other hand, is a nine-hole, par 72 all-weather championship golf course, designed by the International Management Group (IMG) and maintained by Sta. Elena Properties, Inc.

The golf course features a unique ocean hole that is undoubtedly one of the best Par 3 holes in Asia. Playing from a variety of lengths, this medium to short Par 3 will require precise club selection as the golf ball might end up flying over the cliff and landing on the sea.

"For those who prefer the challenge of water sports, be it jetskiing, kayaking, wake boarding or surfing, there's much to do in one of the three coves at the adjacent white beach of the Cliffs'Beach Club," Arnold added. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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