The Philippines hosted the two-day 46th APEC Tourism Working Group (APEC-TWG) Meeting held on 17-18 May 2015 in Boracay Island, Aklan. The meeting was attended by tourism officials of the member economies (Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam) and guest observers from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), International Air Transport Association (IATA), Incentive, Conference & Event Society Asia Pacific (ICESAP), Macau, APEC International Centre for Sustainable Tourism (AICST), and KPMG, a tax and financial firm .
The regular meetings of the APEC-TWG serve as venue to report updates of activities/projects, to deliberate on issues and reach decisions related to policy formulation and project proposals contained in the annual work program and strategic plan.
The meeting ended with the group agreeing on the revised Strategic Plan which enumerated projects and activities to be championed and co-sponsored by member economies. The plan will be presented to the Sub-Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (SCE).
"We have adopted a new strategic plan for 2015-2019. This ambitious plan that follows the Ministers’ and Leaders’ directions in 2014, promotes sustainable and inclusive tourism development in the APEC region that will enable member economies to increase their competitiveness while consolidating regional objectives. It has four priority areas which will be developed through specific projects and activities, like taxation policy, travel facilitation, MSMEs, connectivity, smart and secure travel programs, traveler friendly airports, among others," TWG Lead Shepherd Javier Molina said.
Philippine Department of Tourism (PDOT) Assistant Secretary Rolando Canizal closed the meeting by reminding delegates that much has yet to be done in following through various initiatives in respective economies in order to eventually remove these impediments to travel and for all to gain improvements in the tourism supply chain.
Tourism Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. on a separate interview said, "The Philippines is honoured and proud to host the 46th APEC TWG Meeting. We are happy that the TWG has been very active and committed in stepping up the initiatives to achieve the goals in its annual strategic plans. We see a lot of these milestone projects contributing positively to the APEC 2015 theme of inclusive growth."
Philippine Department of Tourism