Bicolanos urged to invest in tourism

The Long Beach Area of San Vicente in Palawan was selected as one of the first Flagship Tourism Enterprise Zones (TEZ) of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority. (Photo: TIEZA)
NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) – “The Bicol region is full of tourism enterprise opportunities,” Department of Tourism (DOT) Bicol Regional Director Benjamin Santiago said during the Naga leg of the Tourism Enterprise Zone Forum spearheaded by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) on October 11 at the Avenue Plaza Hotel here. 

The roadshow, which was in partnership with the Department of Tourism Region V and the Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, reached out to investors around the region and informed them about the investment opportunities offered in Tourism Enterprise Zones (TEZs).

A Tourism Enterprise Zone (TEZ) is an area of at least five (5) hectares in size and is in one (1) contiguous territory with historical and cultural significance, environmental beauty, or existing potential integrated leisure facilities within its vicinity.

Fiscal and non-fiscal incentives such as the six-year income tax holiday, 5% gross income taxation, tax and duty free importation of goods and services, capital investment and equipment, transportation equipment, lease of land to foreign nationals, employment of foreign nationals, and foreign currency transactions, among others, will be available to tourism enterprises, as provided under R.A. 9593.

“It is an opportune time for Bicolanos to consider investing in tourism, which is one the sunshine industries and is an indispensible element of the national economy,” Santiago stressed.

“Tourism must be harnessed as an engine of socio-economic growth and cultural affirmation to generate investments, foreign exchange, and employment,” he said.

The Regional Director added that in the region, many areas have the potential to be Cultural Heritage Tourism Zones, Health and Wellness Tourism Zones, Eco-Tourism Zones, General Leisure Tourism Zones, and Mixed Use Tourism Zones.

He urged both the public and private sector to work with the government in strengthening the Philippine tourism industry.

Present during the forum were various local and foreign chambers of commerce, developers, tourism enterprises, consultancy/law firms, tourism associations, and other tourism related establishments around the region.