Subic Plans Sentosa-Like Freeport

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT - The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) is conducting feasibility studies on the conversion of the Subic Bay International Airport into an integrated family resort similar to Sentosa, a popular island resort in Singapore.
"This is the centerpiece of our tourism program," revealed SBMA Chairman and Administrator Roberto Garcia at the Third Planning and Development Conference on Rural Tourism held here recently.
Garcia said the conversion could bring in millions of foreign tourists to Subic, just like the 20 million tourists that have visited Sentosa.
He said he is optimistic that building a Sentosa-like theme park here will generate the same number of tourists for Subic.
"Remember that the target of the Aquino administration is to draw 10 million tourists by 2016. However, if we can build a world-class iconic tourist destination just imagine how many million tourists it would bring in," he said.
Garcia also revealed that the SBMA will enhance its eco-tourism program and capitalize on existing nature-themed parks here like the Ocean Adventure Marine Park, Treetop Adventure, and Zoobic Safari.
"These three theme parks are responsible for bringing over 1.2 million tourists last year," he said.
He added that Subic has other tourist attractions that let tourists enjoy horseback riding, trekking, and camping.
Apart from local tourists, Garcia said that Subic's eco-based tourism is attracting more foreign visitors, as evidenced by the recent visit of a UK-based cruise ship, whose passengers were awed by Subic's biodiversity and the culture of its indigenous Ayta tribe.
He also said that Subic is now well-prepared to host various international sporting events since the Freeport has the facilities and the manpower needed in staging events like the Century Tuna 5i50 Triathlon on June 24 and the recent Subic International Triathlon held on May 5-6. "In fact, many triathletes actually live here in Subic because they love to train here in the natural environment that we have," he added.

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