23 February 2016

Subic Freeport gears up for summer 2016 tourist season

Central Luzon’s most visited tourist destination is gearing up to keep everything hot — that is, sizzling hot for an exciting and enjoyable stay of tourists trooping here for summer vacation, especially during the Lenten season.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Roberto Garcia said the agency has already implemented major face-lift projects in most tourism facilities and infrastructures here in preparation for the usual surge of summer visitors.

“For the past weeks, maintenance and ground personnel have all been busy with various projects to make sure that Subic Bay Freeport would be ready for the big volume of tourists arriving during summer, especially this Holy Week,” Garcia said.

“And because Subic is becoming more and more of a hot item among travelers, we really have to make sure that the free port remains to be the best destination they’d always want to return to,” he added.

Referring to reports from the SBMA Tourism Department, Garcia said that tourist arrivals in Subic reached 7.3 million in 2015, an increase of 14 percent over the 6.4-million record in 2014.

He noted that tourists who actually stayed overnight or for several days in Subic reached 1.43 million in 2015, or 21 percent higher than the 1.18 million recorded in 2014.

The figures were based on reports from hotel operators in Subic, who noted that the occupancy rate also increased to 70 percent last year, the highest in the past four years.

“This is why there is a need to really work hard to maintain our status in the top list of the Department of Tourism-Region III (DoT-3). All of us should be ambassadors of tourism of the SBMA,” Garcia also told employees on Monday.

Subic was conferred the Number 1 Tourist Destination in Region 3 by the DoT-3 for the past two consecutive years, and was named as well as “Premier Convention Capital of Central Luzon” in 2012.

Garcia said that the SBMA is now refurbishing all the road features in Subic, and placing police and travelers assistance outposts in strategic areas in time for the summer season.

Meanwhile, tourism-related businesses are also making necessary renovations and upgrading their facilities, he added.

Garcia said the most important project that SBMA is completing today is the renovation of the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center (SBECC) in the amount of P21 million. This will be the venue of Ad Summit Pilipinas 2016, which will bring together the country’s top advertising and marketing practitioners here on March 9 to 12. (RAV/MPD-SBMA)

Workers undertake repair and improvement projects at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center, which will be the venue of Ad Summit Pilipinas 2016 on March 9-12. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)