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Legazpi hosts national tourism meet

All roads lead to Legazpi City in Albay where visitors can see the postcard-pretty Mayon Volcano from all angles. The city hosts the 14th National Convention of the Association of Tourism Officers in the Philippines (ATOP) from today till Saturday. 2013_oct02_show6The confab gathers some 600 provincial, municipal, tourism officers, mayors, barangay officials, and local legislators to discuss the country’s booming domestic tourism industry. The gathering tackles the role of tourism as a major engine of inclusive economic growth in the countryside. Laguna governor and award-winning actor ER Ejercito, a champion in domestic tourism promotion, will discuss the importance of multi-stakeholders partnership in local governance. The event also tackles the salient points of the Tourism Act of 2009, inputs on best tourism practices by local government units, and the use of social media in destination marketing. The convention will also recognize the Best Tourism Events, Best LGU Tourism Program, Best Tourism Week Celebration (provincial, city and municipal levels), and the Most Outstanding Tourism Officer through the coveted Pearl Award. With governors, mayors and legislators in attendance, it is hoped that tourism would be a priority thrust of local governments with potential tourist attractions. ATOP is the national association of tourism officers formed in 2000 to help professionalize the frontline visitor service in local governments and create a forum for collaboration and advocacy. Legazpi Mayor Noel Rosal said that the hosting of the national meet attests to the emergence of the city as a vital convention hub.
Legazpi boulevard: The longest along the bay in the Philippies. (Inset) ATV on the Mayon trail is one of the activities visitors can enjoy in the city. Legazpi boulevard: The longest along the bay in the Philippies. (Inset) ATV on the Mayon trail is one of the activities visitors can enjoy in the city.
Nestled near the foot of the legendary volcano, the city has hosted more than a dozen national meets of government, professional and social clubs in the past 12 months. Its strategic location in the region is one reason the city is a favorite venue for concerts and other entertainment events of both the Kapuso and Kapamilya networks. The city has some 1,500 rooms ranging from luxury to economy, the most popular, of course, is the hilltop Oriental Hotel, the only five-star hotel in the Bicol region. The hotel is hosting the delegates and the closing event. Dubbed the “City of Fun and Adventure,” Legazpi has urban amenities such as shopping malls, star-rated boutique hotels, cozy bars, recreation centers and theme restaurants without losing its countryside charm. Rosal said that delegates can enjoy the City’s various adventure activities such as the Ligñon Hill zipline and hanging bridge, the all-terrain vehicle (ATV) rides at the Mayon lava trail, the Embarcadero zipline and lighthouse tower rappelling. A new adventure spot is the Legazpi Boulevard, the country’s longest boulevard along a bay outside Manila. It is a hub for watersports such as kayaking, jetski and diving. Just outside the city are Albay Province’s natural wonders and cultural spots, which ATOP delegates can explore. Among these are the most photographed Cagsawa Ruins Park in Daraga, Mayon Planetarium in Tabaco City, pinangat cooking and centenary houses in Camalig, clay pottery making in Tiwi, agri-based tourism in Libon, Spanish-era baroque churches and native delicacies in almost every town.
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