RP HOSTS BIG INTERNATIONAL TOURISM EVENTS

TOURISM BOSS GORDONManila, May 23, 2003 -- In a bid to address the worsening effects of SARS 
in the global tourism industry, some tourism ministers from over 70 
archipelagic islands and states will converge in Manila for two big 
events  the World Tourism Organization (WTO) Asia-Pacific Ministerial 
Summit on Crisis Management on June 6-20 and the First Meeting of 
Archipelagic and Island States on June 20 at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel.

"This meeting is a timely occasion to gather senior officials from tourism 
administrations and representatives of the industry and international 
organizations to exchange ideas and experiences, assess the effects of 
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and other crises that hit the 
region, and develop a collective strategy and action plan in the short and 
medium term," said Tourism Secretary Richard Gordon who is also the 
chairman of the WTO-Committee on East Asia and the Pacific.

The tourism ministers and representatives of various international 
organizations are expected to formulate a resolution that will address 
tourism problems and issues such as accessibility, leakages from 
archipelagic economies, preservation of natural and cultural environments, 
community involvement in tourism development and product diversification. 
(By Rachel C. Barawid, Bulletin)

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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