Press Release
July 17, 2006


Even as Secretary Durano bewails that the lack of hotel rooms will slow down tourism arrivals, Senator Richard J. Gordon had already proposed solutions to this problem in his Senate Bill No. 2138, the Tourism Act of 2006. Senator Gordon is currently chairperson of the Senate Committee on Tourism, and was Tourism Secretary prior to his election as Senator.

We must seize tourism as a strategy to bring in real jobs for our people, spread development throughout the countryside, while protecting the environment, the people and the local culture, Gordon emphasized. This is why we have to act fast. Tourism is the worlds biggest industry, generating trillions of dollars for the world economy. The problems of our tourism industry have to be solved in order to generate jobs, opportunities and dollars for the Filipino and the Philippines. We cannot lose this opportunity. We have to get our act together and pass the Tourism Act.

Earlier, Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano commented that the Philippines needs 40,000 more hotel rooms to reach the target of 5 million international tourists by 2010.

Gordon pointed out that The problem of a shortage of hotel rooms was foreseeable years ago. Thats why in the Tourism Act we are proposing, we are giving incentives for existing hotels to expand and upgrade, and for investors to come in and build not just new hotels and resorts, but entire tourism zones. The existing laws and agencies are not enough. They will not bring in investments fast enough to cope with the demand.

The Tourism Act will create a new agency that will specialize in planning, bringing in and managing investments in tourism zones to make this happen for us. The existing investment agencies are too focused on the export trade and dont have this specialization on sustainable development. This new agency must understand tourism and be accountable in implementing tourism policies.

We as a people, instead of complaining, should focus on fixing the problems in our country, Gordon concluded

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