President Benigno Aquino III (right) shares a light moment with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto during the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Meeting in Manila.
MANILA — The Philippines and Mexico signed bilateral agreements during the recently-concluded Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit promoting active tourism between the two countries.
On the sidelines of the unveiling of APEC sculptures, Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. noted Mexico would become a future source of business for Philippine tourism.
“Mexico is one of the most successful tourism economies in the world and for that alone, we have much to learn from them in terms of exchange of ideas and they offered to be active in that exchange,” he said.
Jimenez added a possibility of direct flights between Manila and Mexico is likely in the coming years that would further boost the tourism industry.
Mexico is not in the top 20 tourism markets of the Philippines.
“What was distant before can be very manageable in the future,” he said.
Meanwhile, Jimenez also commented on the immediate effects on tourism of the week-long APEC summit, saying it became a direct marketing campaign in terms of investments and travel in the Asia-Pacific region.
“The event brought nearly 10,000 people from the most important facets of business and government in the Asia-Pacific. The effects would be immediate in the sense that we made a very positive impression already on key decision makers and that would have forward implications as well,” he explained.
He also addressed negative comments on the P10-billion spending for the Philippine hosting of APEC, including the five-day interruption in the metro.
“You cannot hold a major hosting event without cleaning your house. This is an expense that we are prepared to make and it’s not as if we spent the P10 billion in other matter because we spent it here,” he said.
“It is a five-day interruption to normal movement, but the reason why it made sense is because Manila is the center of the most significant evidence of growth of the Philippine economy,” he explained.
Furthermore, Jimenez said the hosting of APEC exceeded expectations in many aspects especially in the output of the bilateral and leaders’ meeting.
“I would give it an A, because the only proper measure is the measure of the participants and I have not heard any complaints. And therefore, it is an outstanding success,” Jimenez said.