Friday, May 9, 2014

3 plush hotels in Legazpi to house delegates to UNWTO’s triple meetings this month

LEGAZPI CITY, May 8 (PNA) -- The three most expensive hotels here have been assigned as official residents of national and foreign dignitaries invited to attend three international gatherings which the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is holding in the city on May 15-20, this year.

The gatherings are for the 40th Meeting of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN), Plus Three National Tourism Organizations; 26th Joint Meeting of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Commission for East Asia and the Pacific; and the UNWTO Commission for South Asia UNWTO-ASEAN International Conference on Tourism and Climate Change.

Over 1,000 delegates representing 21 member-countries in the Asia-Pacific regions are expected to attend.

In their six-day stay, these delegates will be billeted at The Oriental Hotel and Resort, St. Ellis Hotel and Hotel Venezia, all classy accommodation facilities located within the heart of the city.

The Oriental, which has also been designated as venue of the meetings, is a plush hotel and resort located atop Taysan Hill overlooking the alluring and cordial cityscape and the blue waters of Albay Gulf amid a backdrop of the iconic Mayon Volcano.

Exquisitely styled in classic ivory tones, this hotel -- considered one of the finest in Bicol and the first all-season resort for leisure and business travelers -- has daily room rates, all classified first class fixed at US$ 90 for deluxe and US$ 120 for executive suites.

St. Ellis, which is described as a modern-day interpretation of timeless elegance, is a posh hotel located at the heart of the city’s vibrant downtown, three kilometers from the airport.

Its accommodations, also branded as first class, costs US$ 64 daily for deluxe rooms and US$ 76 for junior suites.

Hotel Venezia, which is located within the Renaissance Village -- an exclusive subdivision near the Legazpi airport, is a 40-room boutique hotel which is a combination of beautiful surroundings with the warmth of a home and the modern conveniences of a business hotel. Its daily room rates are US$ 80 for a junior suite and US$ 119 for a one-bedroom suite.

The 40th Meeting of the ASEAN, Plus Three National Tourism Organizations meeting will be attended by only the ASEAN member-states that are also members of UNWTO.

Delegates to this meeting, which include those coming from India, and several guests will arrive on May 14, according to a program of activities obtained by the PNA here Thursday.

They will be given a welcome reception at the poolside of Oriental Hotel by the Albay provincial government headed by Gov. Joey Sarte Salceda and will be treated to a dinner at the Ligñon Hill Natural Park by the city government under Mayor Noel Rosal.

Ligñon Hill is a 156-meter peak that stands as one of the city’s prime destinations featuring a carefully-designed landscape that caters to restaurants and shops on its summit where sightseers have a panoramic 360-degree view of the entire city, its neighboring towns of Daraga and Sto. Domingo, Albay Gulf and the southern slopes of the Mayon Volcano.

The joint CAP-CSA meeting, which is UNWTO´s principal annual event in the Asia Pacific Region, has as one key item on the agenda for this meeting set on May 18 -- the debate on air connectivity in the region.

Delegates to this meeting will start arriving here on May 17 wherein they will be accorded with a welcome reception by the Department of Tourism (DOT) at the nearby Misibis Bay Resort, a private tropical hideaway built on a pristine stretch of beach along the southern tip of Cagraray island in Bacacay, Albay, which is considered as the luxury island playground in the Philippines.

The UNWTO-ASEAN International Conference on Tourism and Climate Change, on the other hand, is scheduled on May 19-20, wherein President Benigno S. Aquino III is expected to deliver a keynote address in the opening program.

This international conference will seek to analyze the effects of climate change on tourism, particularly in the Asia Pacific region, and endeavor to strengthen the industry´s ability to adapt to threats and utilize opportunities that arise as a result of climate change, according to Maria Ong-Ravanilla, the DOT Bicol regional director.

This in line with the responsibility of UNWTO as the UN agency for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability among member-nations, Ravanilla said.

Member-nations coming from the East Asia and the Pacific which will be represented in the meeting include the Philippines, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, South Korea, Fiji, Hongkong, China, Indonesia, Japan, Macao, China, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Vanuatu and Vietnam.

South Asia member-states that are expected to join the gatherings are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Member-countries from the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the Americas may also join the event -- including other non-member states that have signified intentions to observe the proceedings, Ravanilla said.

Invitations were also extended to UNWTO affiliate members in the Asia-Pacific region and selected international and regional organizations within the region that include the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and Pacific Asia Travel Association, she added. (PNA) LGI/FGS/DOC/CBD