Bohol will again host international delegations. This time, it's for the technical visit of around 300 delegates from 156 countries as part of the activities of the 6th United Nations-World Tourism Organization (UN-WTO) Tourism Forum for Parliamentarians and Local Authorities that will be held on October 22-25, next year in Cebu. The international event will gather for the first time in the Philippines key leaders of the tourism industry from at least 156 countries. On the same occasion, an Asia-Pacific Regional Seminar on Tourism Satellite Accounts (TSA) will also be held. This was according to House Tourism Committee chairman, Congressman Edgar Chatto upon his arrival from Cartagena de India, Colombia where he led the three-man Philippine Delegation to the UN-WTO General Assembly. Chatto said that the world tourism event next year was officially launched in Colombia with WTO Secretary General Francesco Frangialli. Chatto, DOT Undersecretary Phineas Alburo and DOT Planning Director Allan Canizal presented the necessary documents to Frangialli.
The Philippine delegation also presented to the UN-WTO Executive Council the highlights of next year's world gathering which is expected to draw over 300 delegates. While in Colombia, the Philippine delegation held a coordination meeting with UN-WTO Deputy Secretary General Taleb Rifai, Regional Head for Asia-Pacific Mr. Xu Jing and Chief of the Conferences, Translation and Documentary Services Ms Dominique Bernardet to set the over-all framework of the two events which will be held one after the other in the same venue. In June this year, DOT Secretary Ace Durano requested Chatto to represent the country with DOT Director Allan Canizal in Tunisia, North Africa for the 5th UN-WTO Tourism Forum for Parliamentarians and Local Authorities and to bid for the second time, the privilege to host the international tourism event which the Philippines lost to Tunisia in an earlier bid that Durano personally filed in Spain.
Chatto and Canizal successfully secured the support of China who was the closest rival through Chairman Shao Qiwei of the China National Tourism Administration. This led to the unanimous choice of the Philippines as the next host country. Both Durano and Chatto believe that this is a rare opportunity of hosting a UN0-WTO event which puts the country into the center of the global tourism industry. This will generate a bigger share of the Philippines in the world tourism market and also enhance investments. Bernardet will be in the country early January next year to conduct site inspection of the venues for the big tourism event.