By Lailany P. Gomez | October 20, 2013 manilastandardtoday.com
The Philippine Ports Authority has lined up several infrastructure projects to support the booming cruise tourism in the country, its chief said Monday.
PPA general manager Juan Sta. Ana said the cruise port development would support the country’s status as one of the major cruise destinations in Asia.
Star Cruises-owned Super Star Gemini recently stopped at Pier 15 Super Terminal in South Harbor, Port Area, Manila from its home port in Xiamen, China.
This was the first time the Philippines was included in a major cruise package. The package included regular stops in Boracay and Manila, Sta. Ana said.
“The Philippines welcomes this growing interest in cruise tourism in various strategic locations in the country,” he said.
Several cruise calls have been recorded since March 2010, including a German cruise ship docking at the Iloilo Port, MV Princess Danae, a Portuguese luxury cruise ship, in Davao Port, and recently, the Royal Carribean’s Legend of the Seas which docked at the Port of Puerto Princesa for the first time as part of the cruise ship’s seven-night “Borneo Explorer Cruise.”
“In coordination and partnership with the Department of Tourism and other government agencies, we identified eight ports as tourism gateways aimed at developing international hubs for cruise liners that include Davao, Bohol, Boracay, Cebu, Metro Manila, Puerto Princesa, Subic, and Zamboanga. These make up the nation’s major nautical cruise arteries,” Sta. Ana said.
“In addition, we have lined up various port development programs for the development of cruise terminals. These include the Ports of Puerto Princesa, Currimao in Ilocos Norte and Catagbacan in Bohol province,” he said.