Industry leaders back Philippines’ Tourism Secretary Lim


Leaders of tourism organizations have expressed their support for Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim.

Aileen C. Clemente, president of Rajah Travel Corp. and of the Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA), assured Lim of their support and advised him to just work on getting the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) and the country brand project completed and approved by the President.

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“Secretary Lim should not worry about criticism coming from those outside our industry since those who are really involved in tourism in this country and have been in the industry for decades know that what he is doing is good for the country and good for tourism.”

Clemente said that the NTDP is the road map that will make us achieve our target of 3.7 million foreign visitors in 2011 and 6.3 million in 2016. The plan also envisions the increased foreign arrivals, together with 32 million domestic travelers, will generate P1.3 trillion and 5.26 million jobs.

“That is a tall order. And if anyone can lead us toward such a great accomplishment as an industry and as a nation, it is no less than Bertie Lim and President Aquino.”

Avelino Zapanta, CEO of Southeast Asian Airlines, said of Lim: “Happy that the industry has a decent and hardworking secretary. We fully support Secretary Lim.” He added that since assuming office, Lim has been pushing for bold policy reforms in the tourism industry.

Even tourism players in Davao expressed support for the secretary. Mary Ann Montemayor, chair of the Davao Region Tourism Council, cited the valuable and vigorous support of the Department of Tourism, led by Secretary Lim, for programs and projects that effectively position Davao as an ecotourism destination.

“The secretary is on the right track and we are confident that the results will be more apparent in the coming months,” said Marciano C. Ragaza, a member of the PTAA board where he once served as president.

Rumors went around last week that Lim was one of three Cabinet secretaries on the way out.