Benguet tourism prepping for AFTA

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Thursday, July 31, 2014


LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Tourism plans are being readied for the Asean Free Trade Agreement (AFTA).

Provincial Tourism Officer Claire Prudencio said come 2015, it will not only be the vegetable sector, which will have to be ready for the AFTA but also the tourism sector, expecting an influx of tourists from Southeast Asia with the no visa policy of partner countries.

Prudencio said the province must be ready to accommodate the expected increase in visitors as well as products, which will enter the country.

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It is anticipated that goods, services as well as tourism products will come into the province and in turn, the province will be able to showcase at a global level the local tourism.

In a response to the need, Governor Nestor Fongwan has re-organized the tourism and culture councils merging the Provincial Tourism Council as well as the Provincial Council on Culture and Arts adding, "We have a rich culture which we can showcase."

The Provincial Tourism, Culture and the Arts Council now stands with Fongwan as honorary chairman, Board Member Robert Namoro as chairman and Jackson Chiday as vice chairman.

The board of directors are composed of various municipal councilors who chair the committee on tourism of their respective towns.

The new body met Thursday morning to map out a consolidated tourism code from the 13 municipalities as well as plans for the upcoming Adivay celebration in November, working as one.

The preservation, protection and conservation of the local cultural and historical heritage of the province will also be a primary concern of the body with the conduct of cultural events to promote culture arts and heritage.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 01, 2014.

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