Formulate an integrated sustainable tourism management plan for Central Philippines, identifying viable critical environmental, infrastructure and community-based projects to link and integrate the tourism development of the area.
In particular the Tourism Management Plan will:
- Provide a comprehensive planning framework for the development of tourism so that it can play a key role in the development of the regional economy;
- Elaborate a vision of the future direction and content of tourism development, which can help to focus and guide the actions of the various stakeholders towards a shared goal;
- Indentify areas for tourism development, related tourism facilities and supporting infrastructure;
- Specify the major programs, roles and responsibilities of key players, institutional arrangements and resource requirements for achieving the vision.
The 2006 State of the Nation Address envisaged the Central Philippines to be the country’s premium tourist destination on account of its range of natural attraction and cultural heritage.
Based on consultations with provincial tourism officers, planners, and representatives from the tourism industry throughout Central Philippines, a vision statement was formulated:
- "The Central Philippines will be a significant destination that offers direct international access, seamless interconnectivity, world-class tourist facilities and products that meet the demands of tomorrow’s tourist. The Central Philippines will achieve these through the sustainable development of tourism products, environmental protection and enhancement, underpinned by adequate infrastructure with rational management of the destinations, capacity building, investment promotion, effective marketing and an improved business environment."
Government looking to tourism as the way forward.
Looking to the future, the major challenge facing the Central Philippines is to diversify the economy from its reliance on primary products - mainly agriculture. This can only be done by identifying and developing value added internationally traded products/services in agri-business, manufacturing and the service sector. However, the service sector's capacity to constitute a 'driver' of regional economic activity is limited by the fact that much of the output is either non-traded (Government services) or sheltered utilites. Internationally traded services with significant growth potential are few, tourism is being the main one.