Int’l tourism industry leaders tour Clark, New Clark City

Delegates of the 21st World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit in Manila visit the New Clark City Athletics Stadium as part of their investment tour of Clark and New Clark City on April 23, 2022. The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and its subsidiary, the Clark Development Corp. (CDC), hosted on April 23 an international delegation of travel industry leaders from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the global body representing the travel and tourism private sector and its industries, in an investment tour of New Clark City and the Clark Freeport Zone. The investment tour was the final activity for delegates of the 21st World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit held in the Philippines from April 20 to 22, the council’s second major in-person gathering since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. WTTC delegates were given presentations at the new Clark International Airport passenger terminal, and tours of the Clark Freeport Zone and New Clark City, where the closing ceremony was held. The new Clark terminal, an airport finalist in the 2021 Prix Versailles Architecture and Design awards, will open up increased travel, business and mobility north of Metro Manila. Seeking to showcase developments and attract investments in Clark and New Clark City, the activity was organized by BCDA, CDC, the Department of Tourism (DoT), the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), and the Luzon International Premiere Airport Development (LIPAD) Corp., BCDA’s operations and maintenance provider for the new Clark terminal. Clark and New Clark City were the key investment destinations showcased for the summit attendees, whose tour itinerary primarily included top Philippine tourist attractions such as Boracay Island in Aklan and El Nido, Palawan. The BCDA, CDC and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), an affiliate of the BCDA Group, were among the government agencies that presented investment offerings to the delegates. Atty. Aristotle B. Batuhan, BCDA Officer-in-Charge President and Chief Executive Officer, said the WTTC visit came at a perfect time as Clark and New Clark City are playing increasingly critical roles in enabling the local tourism industry and the Philippine economy transition to the new normal. “The BCDA has always believed that the vision for New Clark City as a smart, resilient, sustainable and inclusive metropolis of the future deserves to be on the world stage. What better way to do this than to let international tourism leaders experience in person the excitement that is building here in New Clark City. We at the BCDA are thrilled to host our WTTC guests and show them how far we’ve come in making this vision a reality,” Batuhan said. Batuhan added, “Opportunities for travel, sports tourism and strategic investing will become even more accessible after New Clark City reopens its doors to the public, and when the new Clark International Airport Terminal begins operations in the coming weeks.” For his part, CDC President and Chief Executive Officer Manuel R. Gaerlan said, “We are delighted to welcome the World Travel and Tourism Council delegates to the Clark Freeport Zone. Their presence provides us with an excellent opportunity to highlight the exciting tourism developments in Clark. At the same time, we hope that their visit to the Freeport will underscore Clark’s potential as a leading business location, with its stable investment climate and world-class facilities and utilities. We look forward to fostering a meaningful partnership with the members of WTTC and usher in more business opportunities and possibilities in Clark.” Delegates were given a rolling tour of sites of interest in Clark, covering hotels, resorts, tourist sites, luxury and recreational facilities, and corporate offices. CDC continues its rise as a prime tourism and commercial hub outside of Metro Manila, with over 1,100 business locators setting up shop in the freeport. For the New Clark City leg of the investment tour, the spotlight was also on world-class sports facilities in the rising metropolis, including the Fédération Internationale de Natation’s (FINA)- approved Aquatics Center and the 525-room Athletes’ Village. New Clark City’s sports complex was a centerpiece venue of the 30th Southeast Asian Games. The investment tour wrapped up at the Athletics Stadium, a Class 1 sports facility certified by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which recently received a highly commended nod from the World Architecture Festival (WAF) in the Completed Buildings – Sport Category. During the closing ceremony, delegates were treated to assorted Kapampangan and Filipino delicacies for a satisfying taste of the local cuisine and culture. Engr. Joshua Bingcang, SVP of BCDA’s Conversion and Development Group, presents investment offerings in New Clark City to delegates of the 21st World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit during their visit to the new Clark International Airport terminal on April 23, 2022. BCDA photo Delegates of the 21st World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit, Philippine government officials and private sector partners listen to investment offerings at the Subic-Clark-Tarlac corridor during their investment tour of Clark and New Clark City on April 23, 2022.

April 24, 2022

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New Clark City cited as PH’s top sports tourism venue

The world-class sports complex in New Clark City was cited as the 2019 Sports Tourism Venue of the Year at the 4th Philippine Sports Tourism Awards (PSTA). Already on its fourth year, the PSTA recognized “exemplary sports initiatives from the public and private sectors who have shown interest and deep conviction in promoting sports tourism in the country during 2019.” In a taped message, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat noted that just last year, the Philippines successfully hosted the 30th South East Asian Games (SEA Games) and “New Clark City was put on the map as a world-class venue for sports tourism and a center for national sports development.” “We’d like to thank Secretary Vince [Dizon] for that. Beyond sports, the city’s development of roads and infrastructure paved the way for its transformation into the country’s newest hub for business and government,” she added. In his acceptance video, Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) President and CEO Vince Dizon highlighted that the New Clark City hub—the first modern sports complex developed by the government since the 1930s when the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex was built—will benefit present and future generations of athletes. “Our athletes and all our aspiring athletes and sports enthusiasts can use these facilities, train in them, use them for events. Our athletes no longer need to travel abroad to use world-class facilities and qualify for sporting events all over the world,” Dizon said. Dizon added that athletes “can use these facilities and show that the Filipino is a force to reckon with in international sports.” “Thank you very much to the Sports Tourism Awards for this honor and recognition and we promise all of our athletes that we will continue to develop this brand new city so that in the next couple of years, not only will we be able to host the South East Asian Games, but we can aspire to host bigger international sporting events in the future,” he said. The award was received by BCDA Vice President for Business Development Arrey Perez at the Clark Marriott Hotel on Thursday night, December 10. New Clark City was the main venue of the 2019 SEA Games where the athletics and aquatics events were held. The sports complex features a 20,000-seater Athletics Stadium with a nine-lane, 400-meter track and field oval, a six-lane warm-up track, and an indoor track; and the 2,000-seater Aquatics Center that has a 10-lane Olympic size swimming pool, a diving pool with inland diving training facility, and a warm-up training pool. New Clark City also has its own 525-unit Athletes’ Village, which can accommodate up to 1,500 athletes. The Athletes’ Village has a basketball court, swimming pool, and fitness facilities. The New Clark City sports facilities will also be used by the future student-athletes of the National Academy of Sports, which is targeted to be operational by 2021, and other educational institutions to be put up in New Clark City. The new metropolis is also eyed to be the host venue of sports bubbles in aquatics, athletics, and triathlon events next year. Clark Freeport Zone meanwhile was awarded Sports Tourism Destination of the Year by the PSTA for the third time. Clark, a haven for cyclists, runners, triathletes, other athletes and sports enthusiasts, previously received the same award in 2015 and 2018. In 2019, Clark was the venue for other SEA Games events, including archery, rugby, baseball, softball, dance sports, petanque, and lawn bowl. Clark also hosted the recently-concluded 2020 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup under a safe bubble set-up amid the COVID pandemic. Other awardees in the 4th Philippine Sports Tourism Awards include Manuel V. Pangilinan for Sports Tourism Personality of the Year (private), Mayor Felipe Remollo for Sports Tourism Personality of the Year (government), People’s Television Network for News Coverage of the Year, Philippine Airlines for Airline of the Year, Resorts World Manila for Charity Event of the Year, Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines for Event Sponsorship of the Year, The Mansion Boutique Hotel and Villas for Hotel of the Year, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority for Destination Marketing of the Year, Triathlon Association of the Philippines for Sports Association of the Year, TINMAN Ilocos Norte for Event of the Year (domestic), Ironman 70.3 for Event of the Year (International), Sunrise Events Inc. for Organizer of the Year (private), & Dumaguete City for Organizer of the Year (government).

January 6, 2021

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