World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary-General Dr. Taleb Rifai arrived in the Philippines on 19th May 2014 for a series of visits to Bohol, Tacloban and Legazpi to highlight the importance of tourism in economic recovery, according to the Department of Tourism (DoT).
Mr. Rifai’s visit started with a dinner meeting in Manila with officials of the Tourism Congress of the Philippines, along with selected Cabinet secretaries and businessmen, to discuss the important role of the government, businesses and civil society play in tourism development.
He proceeded to Bohol for the presentation and turnover of the Bohol Tourism Recovery Plan, which was developed following a series of fact-finding missions and extensive research over a five-month period, toward the immediate recovery of the province from the effects of last year’s 7.2-magnitude earthquake.
The recovery plan includes a communication strategy to regain the confidence of domestic and international travellers and of the communities.
After the Bohol visit, the UNWTO proceeded to Tacloban City, Leyte, which was devastated by super-typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) in November, to confer the proposed recovery plan for the province.
Mr. Rifai also headed to Legazpi City, Albay, for the UNWTO 26th Joint Meeting of the Commission for Asia and the Pacific and South Asia which focused on air connectivity