Ambassador’s Tour to Palawan Opens Embassy’s Tourism Push in Singapore for 2012
Posted on Tuesday, 20 March 2012
It’s more fun in the Philippines!
In order to help spread this message to the rest of the world, the Philippine Embassy in Singapore is organizing a series of Ambassador’s Tours to select destinations in the Philippines this year.
The inaugural tour took off for Puerto Princesa on 8 to 11 March 2012, led by Ambassador Minda Calaguian-Cruz and her husband, Philippine Ambassador to Korea Luis T. Cruz. The group included 23 people, including the ambassadors to Singapore of Cambodia, Canada, Mexico, Peru and Brazil, as well as the former ambassadors to Singapore of Mexico and Sri Lanka, and several Singapore-based businesspeople.
(L-R) – Ambassadors Luis and Minda Cruz; Cambodian Ambassador Sin Serey; Madam Jayathri Samarakone,
former Sri Lankan Ambassador, and High Commissioner and Madam David Sevigny of Canada at PPUR
In collaboration with the Office of Mayor Edward S. Hagedorn, the Office of Palawan Governor Abraham Kahlil B. Mitra, the Tourism Office of Puerto Princesa, the Department of Tourism (DOT), DOT-MIMAROPA, and partner travel service providers, the Embassy came up with an attractive tour package, which included a visit to Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR), an overnight stay at Dos Palmas Island Resort & Spa, island hopping at Honda Bay, a city tour of Puerto Princesa, and a half-day sightseeing and shopping stopover in Manila.
The visit to PPUR, which was recently declared as one of the New7Wonders of Nature, and to Isla Puting Buhangin, a small island owned by Dos Palmas, served as the highlights of the four-day tour.
The excursion also served as an opportunity to showcase the warmth and hospitality of the Palaweños, with the offices of Mayor Hagedorn and Governor Mitra mounting impressive welcome receptions for the group that showcased the cultural richness of Palawan.
The Canadian High Commissioner, the Mexican Ambassador and his family, the wife of the Brazilian
Ambassador, and the former Mexican Ambassador and his spouse try banana boat diplomacy at Isla Pandan.
Through the Ambassador’s Tours, the Philippine Embassy in Singapore hopes to heighten interest in the Philippines as a travel destination among Singaporeans and foreign nationals based in Singapore, especially those who are in a position to share their positive impressions about the country to their respective networks.
“Studies have shown that one job is created for every tourist who visits the Philippines,” said Ambassador Cruz. “This means that if we reach the government’s target of raising our tourist arrivals to 10 million by 2016, from 3.92 million last year, we would be able to create 6 million jobs in 5 years. This is not even counting the employment that can be generated indirectly from tourism. Clearly, the tourism industry is an important plank of our economic development strategy.”
The choice of destination for the first Ambassador’s Tour coincided with the DOT’s objective to intensify its promotion of Palawan. Speaking at the Tourism Roadshow held last 28 February 2012 in Singapore, Ms. Maria Corazon Jorda-Apo, DOT Director for the Americas and Asia-Pacific, said, “We want to encourage Singapore-based travel experts to market Palawan, a beach resort which is undergoing significant development with the help of major foreign investors.”
Future Ambassador’s Tours are planned to Donsol for whale-shark viewing, and Cebu and Bohol, among other destinations.