Cruise summit to draw jobs for Filipino seamen

Foreign and regional cruise operators will converge in Manila for the Cruise Travel Tourism and Maritime Careers Convention 2024, which is expected to boost tourism in the country and bring more opportunities to Filipino seafarers.

 Rachelle Bataclan Lopez, president and CEO of WMOC Group of Companies

According to Rachelle Bataclan Lopez, president and CEO of WMOC Group of Companies, the event slated on June 11 to 12  at the SMX Convention Center aims to establish the Philippines as a premier cruise destination in Southeast Asia while creating job opportunities for Filipinos in the maritime, tourism, hospitality, and cruise sectors.

Lopez said that foreign cruise operators have been invited to catch on to the developments and programs making the Philippines an attractive and exciting destination for cruise shipping in Asia.

With the expo predicting mutual benefits for all parties involved, from stakeholders to local communities, the Expo Maritime Philippines provides a platform to showcase products, services, and expertise of the Philippine tourism and maritime industry, thereby exposing participating booths to a broader audience.

Representatives of the Department of Tourism and the Department of Transportation will be gracing the forum.

“The Cruise Travel Tourism and Maritime Careers Convention showcases the country's assets, attracts cruise operators, and fosters maritime workforce development. It promotes diverse maritime careers, encouraging talent retention and industry growth,” she said.

“Officials and leaders of local government units (LGUs) of premier tourist sites who are intently working to further develop and promote the places of interest in their localities have readily agreed to support and actively participate in the Convention by unveiling the unique brand of Philippine tourism,” she said.

“The country's Boracay Beach and El Nido in Palawan have been topping the list of the most enthralling beaches in the world and have hosted droves of tourists, divers, and water sports enthusiasts, many of whom expressed the desire to come back,” she added.

Lopez emphasized the importance of collaboration between and among the government and stakeholders in achieving the tourism targets, which President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. acknowledges as an important factor toward economic development.

According to Lopez, there was consensus among the private sector representatives that for Philippine cruise shipping to prosper, high-level commitment from the government is crucial, especially in putting together a competitive yet well-organized cruise tourism landscape.

“It provides a venue to roll out the infrastructure makeover which is taking place across the country. The chains of hotel and lodging facilities are all aimed at making travelers and guests experience pleasant and comfortable sojourns in the archipelago, which will be a main feature of the exhibit during the convention,” Lopez said.

The WMOC official also assured that the expo will surely boost the government's campaign to enhance Filipinos' awareness of the archipelagic character of their country.

“By exploring the country through a cruise, Filipinos will gain a wider understanding of the various dimensions of the archipelago, which will contribute to their recognition of the maritime interests of the Philippines,” she said.