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Cebu conference on ecotourism postponed

The 5th World Ecotourism Conference 2013 which was due to take place in Cebu on November 13 to 15 in Cebu City has been postponed to the first quarter 2014 following the recent earthquake.

CEBU – In view of the recent events that adversely affected Central Visayas, the Philippines Department of Tourism and Discovery Mice have decided to postpone the 5th World Ecotourism Conference slated on November 13 – 15, 2013 in Cebu City and Bohol to the first quarter of 2014.

 The rescheduling was deemed necessary to give way for the national and local government units to complete their post activities, as well as give chance for the local people of earthquake-stricken Bohol and Cebu to recover from the recent catastrophe.

All those who have registered online are advised to reconfirm their interest to attend once the online registration is reactivated with the new schedule. A technical tour was also scheduled to Bohol, who was also extremely devastated by the recent earthquake of October.

With the theme, “Marine and Coastal Ecotourism: Oceans of Uncertainties, Waves of Opportunities”, the conference is due to be turned into a podium for private and public sectors, as well as academia and NGOs, to diffuse the uncertainties while reaching out for the opportunities ahead of us. Local Government Units and those involved in social enterprises and community capacity building will benefit most as invited international ecotourism speakers share their knowledge, experiences, and successes in ecotourism planning, management, and business operation.

Promoting a sustainable model for marine and coastal ecotourism is in the interests of natural resource managers, environmentalists, tourism promotion agencies, and local communities who traditionally depend on the marine stock for their livelihood. If appropriate research, policies and strategies are embraced responsibly to balance the benefits between conservation, communities and commerce, sustainable activities for eco-tourists can be generated from marine resources instead of treating them solely as a food source.

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has committed to support the Philippines’ tourism-related rehabilitation program for areas affected by the powerful earthquake that rocked Bohol and Cebu last Oct. 15.

In a statement posted on its website, the UNWTO said it had transmitted to the Philippine government its commitment to support the Department of Tourism (DOT) “in any tourism-related recovery program to be designed for the affected areas.”

“UNWTO is confident that with the dynamic leadership of the government of the Philippines, Cebu and Bohol, both important tourism destinations, will soon recover from this tragic occurrence and continue to play their significant role in tourism growth to the country,” it said.

With over 1.9 million tourists (872,397 foreign and 1.1 million domestic) in 2011 (up by 12% over 2010) Cebu is one the Philippines largest destination.

Luc Citrinot

Luc Citrinot a French national is a freelance journalist and consultant in tourism and air transport with over 20 years experience. Based in Paris and Bangkok, he works for various travel and air transport trade publications in Europe and Asia.