Gov. Edgar Chatto pushed for consideration of Bohol as one of tourist attractions and for its inclusion as on-shore itinerary at the opening of the 32nd ASEAN Maritime Transport Working Group Committee Meeting.
Welcoming delegates from ASEAN member countries as well as dialogue partners from China, Germany, India, Japan, and Korea, Chatto boasted of Bohol’s prime tourist spots as well as its culture and people as he encouraged delegates to become ambassadors for Bohol tourism.
Chatto expressed his strong support for the establishment and enhancement of the cruise corrider, as the ASEAN-Japan Cruise Promotion Strategy (AJCPS) was adopted during the 12th ASEAN and Japan trade ministers meeting back in November 2014.
He requested parties of the AJCPS to include Bohol as one of tourist attractions and as an on-shore itinerary as cruise ships have continued to dock in Bohol, the latest on October 10, where M/S Hanseatic, an international cruise ship of Europe-based Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, made a port call in Tagbilaran City, bringing 160 European tourists and 120 crew members and service personnel.
Policy pillars of maritime transport attended the 32nd ASEAN Maritime Transport Working Group Committee Meeting, led by Department of Transportation Usec. Philip Judan and MARINA Administrator Marcial Amaro, along with the International Maritime Organization, representatives from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), ASEAN Ports Association, and Federation of ASEAN Shipowners’ Association (FASA).
The governor also highlighted Bohol’s resolve to develop international and domestic seaports to become globally competitive in the ASEAN vision of free flow of goods, services, capital, and investment by the year 2020.
According to Usec. Judan, the ASEAN Maritime Transport Working Group Committee Meetings have become starting point of the ASEAN maritime transport strategic plan or Kuala Lumpur Plan.
The framework for cooperation, he said, began with the 1st ASEAN single shipping market.
The discussions during the meeting focused on coordination of maritime objectives of ASEAN member countries, support for which was expressed by Chatto whose vision for Bohol strongly advances both domestic and global connectivity for areas of trade and commerce as well as tourism.
National government support was also expressed by Judan in behalf of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte as connectivity of the Philippines to ASEAN partners in both business and friendship are facilitated through maritime transport. (Leah/EDCOM)