RP Takes on Sports Tourism

Manila Bulletin, April 18, 2010 | Go to article overview

RP Takes on Sports Tourism


Skydiving in Pampanga, hot-air balloon in Clark, board sailing in Pagudpud, caving in Sagada, surfing in Siargao, wakeboarding in Camarines Sur, mountain climbing in Aurora, and scuba diving in Palawan – gone are the days when Philippine sports is ruled by the testosterone-infused matches of basketball and boxing. Owing to the country’s natural terrains, sprawling beaches, vast low lands, and foothills, sports tourism has become the latest ‘in thing’ in sports and leisure, a thriving industry that will put the Philippines in the map as an international sports destination.“Sports tourism is a niche market the Philippines is ideal for,” said newly elected Philippine Tourism Promotion Board Chief Operating Officer and former Undersecretary for Sports and Wellness Tourism Cynthia Carrion. The Department of Tourism (DoT) recognizes the capability of sports being a worldwide interest, to boost tourism traffic in the country. Also, sports tourism is likely to give foreign and local tourists a reason to visit different destinations in the Philippines which will eventually open more doors for businesses, services, and employment opportunities. Take for instance hosting national and international sporting events such as the 2005 Southeast Asian Games, the Ironman 70.3 in Camarines Sur, and other competitions in different parts of the country can potentially draw in more tourists including team players, management members, guardians, supporters, and sports fans.In the past years, a number of local destinations such as Palawan, Subic, CamSur, and even Boracay have successfully developed their natural tourism assets into marketable sporting sites and are well underway to the international sporting circuit.However, developing sports tourism in the country requires an all-out support from national sport associations, local government units, event organizers, hotel and resort sectors and tour operators.To further address the huge potential of sports tourism in the country, the DoT in cooperation with Selrahco and MediaTrade Exchange Inc. …

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