RP, HONG KONG FORGE TOURISM PARTNERSHIP

Manila, July 28, 2003 (Star)  The Philippines and Hong Kong have officially agreed to mutually boost tourist traffic between the two destinations and promote them jointly to international markets.

Tourism Secretary Richard Gordon announced the recent signing of a memorandum of agreement for that purpose between the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) and the Philippine Convention and Visitors Corp. (PCVC), the marketing arm of the Department of Tourism.

HKTB chairman Selina Chow and Gordon, who chairs the PCVC board, signed the agreement.

"This partnership between the Philippines and Hong Kong is a fine example of ‘cooperation,’ a merry mixture of cooperation and competition. It represents a strategic economic venture that will explore mutually beneficial opportunities to revive bilateral tourist traffic and eventually bring the level of visitor exchanges to new heights," Gordon said.

"The PCVC and HKTB will endeavor to conduct joint promotions, such as participation in major travel expositions in mutually agreed targets which may involve ‘twinning programs’ through advertising, development of tour packages, and the production, distribution and exchange of brochures and related collateral materials," PCVC deputy executive director Rosvi Gaetos said.

Gaetos and Tourism Undersecretary Rolando Reyes witnessed the signing ceremonies.

The agreement, made possible through the efforts of Philippine consul general to Hong Kong Victoria Bataclan, involves a marketing strategy that will promote the Philippines and Hong Kong as complementary destinations.

This includes cooperation in the promotion of meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) through the exchange of leads and information on events that can be held in both countries.

With the agreement, the Philippines has successfully brought attention to the imbalance between Hong Kong arrivals from the Philippines vis-a-vis Philippine inbound from the former Crown Colony.

This makes the Philippines Hong Kong’s preferred tourist destination other than mainland China.

The accord was initially proposed in September 2002 during the successful conduct of the first Philippine Tourism Sales Mission to China.

It was also an offshoot of the memorandum of understanding signed at the time between the DOT and the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA).


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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