The Philippines, consisting of more than 7,107 islands teeming with natural resources in a tropical setting with culture enriched by Asian and Western influences and a history gloriously marked by heroic feats, is in a position to become one of the world's top tourist destinations. This is our vision.
We shall accomplish that vision by strengthening public-private partnership, forging closer relationship with local Government Units (LGUs), and by working hand in hand with the industry stakeholders who are now represented in the TIEZA's Board of Directors. We shall encourage local and foreign investments in our tourism industry through the establishment of Tourism Enterprise Zones (TEZs) in strategic areas of the country.
In this age of globalization marked by tough competition, we can only thrive by adopting a culture of excellence. We shall nourish the best qualities of our workforce, encourage creativity and innovation, and build an organization that's stands on the pillars of integrity, diligence, and competence.
Even in the wake of the global economic crisis, the prospects for the tourism industry remain bright as ever. By asserting our role as one of the agencies of government under the Department of Tourism, I have no doubt that we could effectively contribute to the national thrust to make tourism as an engine of socio-economic growth.
The challenges are daunting as they are exciting. Among others, critical issues such as competitiveness, environmental protection and sustainability, have to be addressed. We also need to ensure that the industry's economic gains shall impact on the improvement of the quality of life of our people, especially those in depressed areas.
I am fully confident that, if we put our acts together with a clear vision and a deep sense of mission, we will succeed.