Former President and current Pampanga 2nd district Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is pushing for the construction of cruise ship ports in Bohol and other major coastal provinces of the country.
“If the cruise ports are constructed, the Philippines will further open its gateway for more Chinese tourists. Data from the Department of Tourism showed that China is our third largest source of tourists,” she said during a luncheon she hosted Friday for the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (Youxie) and Association for Philippine-China Understanding (APCU).
Based on a data, about 890,114 Chinese tourists visited the country from January to November last year which is a significant improvement from the 243,137 arrivals recorded in 2011.
It was pointed out that Poro, Subic Bay, Mariveles, Manila, Boracay, Palawan, Bohol, Cebu, and Davao were being considered as the possible sites of the cruise ports.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said in a statement that the agency is carrying out several infrastructure projects in key areas to support the booming cruise industry.
“On the part of the PPA, we have been injecting so much effort to improve the cruise facilities of our ports particularly the areas like Puerto Princesa in Palawan, South Harbor and North Harbor in Manila, Bohol in the Visayas, and Currimao in Northern Luzon,” said PPA general manager Jay Daniel Santiago.
The PPA specifically pinpointed the Catagbacan area in Loon as among ports included in the country’s proposed major nautical cruise arteries.
“The direction of the current administration is to further harvest the global tourism industry and PPA is continuing its efforts to make port facilities for cruise ships world class,” Santiago added.
According to the PPA, cruise tourism arrivals registered an increase of 1,952.82 percent in January, 2018 recording 9,156 passenger arrivals from only 446 in January of last year. (R. Tutas, PIA-3)