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LGU best practices key in Clark tours, says CDC

CDC president Agnes Devanadera confers with (Lto R) Porac Mayor Jing Capil, Mayor Carnelo “Pogi” Lazatin of Angeles City, CDC VP Mike Dela Rosa, Capas Mayor Roseller Rodriguez and Mabalacat City Mayor Cris Garbo

CLARK FREEPORT – The hosting of  MICECON here next year will highlight not just Clark but will also feature host local cities and towns in an effort to underscore inclusive growth and best practices of the local government units (LGUs) in the tour and travel industry.

At a media conference during the grand launch of MICECON 2024 Monday, Atty. Agnes Devanadera, president and CEO of Clark Development Corporation (CDC) said that the tour packages will consider the “best practices of LGUs.”

Answering questions from this writer on how to make tourists and travellers arriving via Clark International Airport stay in Clark before flying out elsewhere to other destinations, Devanadera said that the tour packages, while ready, are undergoing continuing improvements.

“We realized more than ever that we need also the opportunities for our LGUs to do their own sharing of their best practices which I think is a very good development if they are here to stay,” she said.

As part of its preparations for MICECON, the CDC has conducted workshops on tour packages that will include host cities and towns where LGU executives and partners from travel and tour industries have participated. Particularly, it has convened the liaison and tourism officers from the Metro Clark Advisory Council (MCAC) – a group of five communities contiguous to Clark. They include the cities of Angeles, Mabalacat, and towns of Porac, Pampanga and Bamban and Capas of Tarlac province.

Part of the tour packages are the trekking and outdoor adventures in Porac and Capas, the Kamikaze memorial and Lola Nors Meryendahan in Mabalacat City, the Pamintuan Mansion and heritage district of Angeles City, and paramotors sky adventure and World War II tunnels.

Devanadera, a former mayor herself,  also said that packages will also include other northern Luzon areas like Baguio on an optional basis as she noted that tourists from Visayas and Mindanao areas also want to see the summer capital of the Philippines.

For MICECON, the Department of Tourism estimates that a participant spends about P15,000 per night in hotel, food, souvenirs and other merchandise. The figure is double the standard spending estimate. The MICECON 2024 here is expected to have about 700 to 1,000 participants.

For his part, CDC Board Chairman Edgardo Pamintuan said that the state-owned firm is “pulling all stops” for MICECON participants and for other tourists and travellers who visit Clark.

“All roads lead to Clark.  We will showcase its beauty. They (participants and other visitors) may go to Baguio, Subic and other areas, but Clark will be their headquarters as they will return here,” Pamintuan said.

Before being catapulted to national positions, Devanadera served as Mayor of Sampaloc, Quezon while Pamintuan had served multiple terms as the local chief executive of Angeles City where he was adjudged as among the Top 10 in the prestigious World City Mayors in 2012.