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Bicol’s growth to accelerate as Albay rides RP tourism wave

Source: Michelle Remo : Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—The local government of Albay is now trying to turn the province into one of the country’s top tourist destinations.
Provincial officials expect revenues to be generated from tourism within the short to medium term will be sufficient to accelerate growth of the entire Bicol region.

Bicol grew by a robust 8.2 percent last year, beating all other regions in the country. The growth rate was much faster than the national average of 1.1 percent.

Albay Governor Joey Salceda said Bicol could post an even higher growth rate of 10 percent this year and 12 percent next year, aided in part by tourism revenue to be generated by Albay.

While agriculture and mining served as key regional growth drivers in the past, Salceda said tourism would be the growth sector that could help propel the region in 2010 and beyond.

He said the local government would invest more in the marketing of Albay as a key tourist destination. It already has begun inviting more investments in its tourism industry. It particularly wants to establish more hotels in the province.

Famous tourist spots in Albay are the Mayon volcano, the Mayon Skyline, the Putsan Beach, Cagsawa ruins, and the Spanish Galleon Wreck Site, among others.

According to recent reports, Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio may soon visit Albay to pursue an environmental awareness project.

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