The Philippine government, through the Department of Tourism, has expressed interest in hosting the next United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) General Assembly in 2021.
“The Philippines is excited to host the UNWTO General Assembly in 2021, primarily to showcase the country’s sustainable tourism programs and actions and secondly, to give importance to the nation’s significant role in world maritime history and to draw highlight to our country’s discovery,” declared Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat in a statement Monday.
According to the DOT, the bid is timed with the celebration of the quincentennial of the world’s first circumnavigation in 1521, which was completed when the Spanish expedition arrived in Cebu.
The UNWTO Commission on Asia and the Pacific and the Commission on South Asia (CSA) supported the country’s bid to host the UNWTO confab in 2021, said the DOT.
The Tourism chief recently led the Philippine delegation to Bhutan for the 31st UNWTO and Related Meetings, which includes the UNWTO Regional Conference on Sustainable Development through Tourism.
Bhutan’s initiatives on Gross National Happiness (GNH) in Asia highlighted the conference theme, wherein most speakers talked about their respective programs on GNH.
The DOT, as a member of the panel, shared its intent to review current policies and put premium on sustainable development as part of the tourism indicators.
Meanwhile, during the 57th Meeting of the UNWTO CAP, the Philippines was also elected as a member of both the Committees on Tourism and Sustainability and on Statistics and the Tourism Satellite Account.
The DOT said the membership to these committees provides the Philippines an opportunity not only to sit among other UNWTO Member states but to share its experiences in promoting sustainable tourism development.
At the three-day conference, the DOT also hosted a dinner at the Taj Tashi Hotel, highlighted by the presence of Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering.
Margarita Fores, dubbed as Asia’s Best Female Chef, curated the dinner with dishes such as sinigang, chicken inasal & beef adobo. Before the reception ended, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili appointed Chef Fores as a UNWTO Ambassador.