SG Speech 2018-12-20
ASEAN-Korea Tourism Capacity Building Workshop in the Philippines
24 August 2018 / Princesa Garden Island, Palawan, Philippines
by H.E. Lee Hyuk, Secretary General of the ASEAN-Korea Centre
◆ (VIP) Roberto P. Alabado III, Assistant Secretary, Tourism Development Planning, Philippine Department of Tourism
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the “ASEAN-Korea Tourism Capacity Building Workshop” on Discovering Palawan as an attractive Natural Heritage Destination.
Before I begin, allow me to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Philippine Department of Tourism, specially to Assistant Secretary Roberto P. Alabado III, for co-organizing this event. To our distinguished speakers who have traveled from Korea, and all of you who are here, thank you for joining us.
(Introduction of the workshop)
For the last few days, I visited Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park and Palawan city where I could witness the values of Palawan myself. It was indeed a great chance to understand Palawan's strong potentials as an attractive tourism destination in the Philippines.
As emphasized in the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan 2016-2025, human resource development is central to enhancing tourism competitiveness in the region.
In this regard, the ASEAN-Korea Centre has been conducting this Tourism Capacity-Building Workshop since 2009 to enhance the capabilities of tourism professionals all over ASEAN and deepen their understanding of Korean tourists.
For this Workshop, we will focus on this amazing natural heritage site in Palawan to help preserve its natural value and promote it as an attractive natural destination to Koreans.
Featuring two UNESCO Natural Heritages: Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park and Tubbataha Reef National Park, Palawan was ranked as the world’s best island by the “Travel plus Leisure” and became one of the most favorable destinations in the Philippines after Manila, Cebu, Boracay, and Clark.
Operating direct flights from Incheon to Palawan since last June, Palawan has attracted many Korean visitors carrying fully booked flights from Incheon to Palawan every-day, and Busan to Palawan 4 days a week.
(Korea-Philippines relations on Tourism Industry)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Tourism in Philippines is becoming increasingly vibrant. Tourism industry’s contribution to Philippine GDP in 2017 was more than 21% (USD 66 billion). Furthermore, the Philippines is a popular tourist destination, specially, among Koreans. The number of Korean travelers to the country ranked the highest in 2017, with 1.6 million visitors, which is about one-fourth of the total number of international visitors to the Philippines.
For Palawan, Koreans were the sixth highest to visit the region, with about 20,000 travelers, following after the U.S., Taiwanese, Chinese French, and U.K. visitors. Against this backdrop, your role as a professional to increase the competitiveness of the Palawan tourism industry could not be emphasized enough.
Throughout this Workshop, you will be able to obtain useful information and gain different perspectives on Korean travelers and recent tourism trends. You will be given insights on how to preserve this natural heritage and promote it as an attractive tourism destination.
You will also be provided with recent Korean tourism market trends, tangible business opportunities, and strategies to attract more tourists to come to Palawan. I hope that you take advantage of this opportunity to enhance your capability, develop feasible business strategies, and form a strong network among yourselves.
(CTU Programs to Support Philippine Tourism Industry)
In addition to today’s Workshop, the ASEAN-Korea Centre has been making efforts to strengthen the mutually beneficial partnership between Korea and Philippines.
This year, the Centre conducted the ASEAN-Korea Tourism Investment Seminar to attract investments from Korean stakeholders to ASEAN countries. This coming October, the Centre will be hosting the ASEAN-Korea Tourism Development Workshop on Sustainable Tourism for Natural Heritage Destinations inviting 10 ASEAN countries to Korea.
With great support from the Philippine Department of Tourism, the Centre was able to invite Ms. Elizabeth Maclang, who will also deliver lecture today, as one of the expert lecturers for the workshop.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Before I conclude, please let me express my appreciation to all of you once again for being here with us today. I hope all of us will gain valuable experience and knowledge from this Workshop.
Thank you! I wish you all a productive day.