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The International School of Sustainable Tourism

Written by Cherry   
Friday, 13 May 2011

The Subic Bay Freeport became famous for its historic past as a Spanish castle and later as a well-preserved American military base. Now, it will be the first school for sustainable tourism in the Asia-Pacific Region. Secretary Mina Gabor, former tourism Secretary, founded the International School of Sustainable Tourism (ISST). The school occupies the former Subic Bay Arts Center (SuBAC). The said institution will offer various tourism courses to help enhance the tourism business in Subic and other parts of the Asia-Pacific.

In the next five days, the school will be offering programs such as ecology lodge planning and eco-design with top quality lecturers and resource speakers from tourism establishments. During the opening rites, the guests are former President Fidel Ramos, Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, Tourism Region III director Ronaldo Tiutico, Zambales Gov. Hermogenes Ebdane Jr., and Olongapo City first lady Anne Gordon. They were welcomed by Gabor, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman Feliciano Salonga and SBMA administrator Armand Arreza. In the message of Ramos, he stressed that sustainable tourism will guarantee for an adequate supply of quality tourism products and services while avoiding the negative impact of the influx of visitors to the natural environment and cultural assets. ISST should serve as a policy for the government and the private sector to build the capability of communities, investors and local government units in positioning the Philippines as the centre for sustainable tourism. One thing that Subic people don’t want to be transformed is the wonderful environment that they in Subic.

ISST is a labor of love that shows a lot of potentials, according to Arreza. And the five million domestic tourists that visited Subic last year, tourism is now a key growth engine in the free port zone. The local tourism industry now ranks second in terms of investments, with total obligation of $1.48 billion from 2005 to 2010 alone. At present, there are 7,500 workers in the Subic Bay Freeport. [via mb.com.ph]


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