(Research by Jun Marcelo, Fremont, California)
1821 - Spain sells (east) Florida to U.S. for $5 million
1986 - Start of People Power Revolution in the Philippines
1903 - Cuban state of Guantanamo leased to USA
1904 - U.S. acquires control of the Panama Canal Zone for $10 million
1905 - 4 men in Chicago form Rotary Club International
1919 - Benito Mussolini organizes Fascist Party in Italy
1821 - Mexico gains independence from Spain
1905 - Simplon tunnel in Switzerland is completed
1971 - Algeria nationalizes French oil companies
1863 - U.S. Congress creates national banking system, comptroller of currency
1907 - U.S. proclaims protectorate over Dominican Republic
1797 - Bank of England issues first 1 Pound note
1936 - Hitler introduces Ferdinand Porsche’s “Volkswagen”
1844 - Dominican Republic gains independence from Haiti (National Day)
1998 - FBI arrests 1 of 10 most wanted suspected serial killer, Tony Ray Amati
202 BC – Coronation ceremony of Liu Bang as Emperor Gaozu of Han takes place,
initiating 4 centuries of the Han Dynasty’s rule over China
1850 - The University of Utah opens in Salt Lake City, Utah
Young George Washington
It is not true that Washington’s false teeth were made of wood. By the time he became president, Washington had only one of his own teeth left. But he had several sets of false ones made from cow’s teeth, hippopotamus ivory, and even human teeth.
Ted Blamey, Principal of CHART Management Consultants was tapped by USAID and DOT to lead the team in undertaking an extensive field work, interviews, analysis, and direction-setting in 2015 to finalize the cruise strategy. Joining him were CHART’s Associates, Capt. Luigi Nappa and Rod Davies.
To date, the Philippines has largely been undiscovered, with its more than 7,000 islands providing many excellent opportunities for cruise tourism. The Philippines offers rich diversity – from ancient Spanish heritage, culture and history through bustling metropolitan centers to pristine beaches and stunning scenery. “We also boast of world-class shopping, dining, gaming, and perhaps the warmest welcomes on the planet,” said Undersecretary Benito C. Bengzon, Jr. who heads the newly formed Cruise Tourism Committee for the Philippines.
In 2015, the Philippines attracted 52 port calls for an 18 percent rise from last year’s total of 44. Cruise passenger volume also rose to 69,802 in 2015, up 16 percent from 60,183 passengers in full-year 2014. The growth in cruise tourism in the country is attributed to the strong support from the government and private sectors, as well as the enthusiasm of major cruise lines to visit not only one island, but several islands across the Philippine archipelago.
“As a key element of the strategy, we are determined to build new dedicated cruise facilities, most especially in Manila. A superior cruise port and terminal in the capital, with its extensive airlift and ground facilities, will create a compelling reason for large ships to spend time in the Philippines. Once here, they can achieve outstanding port density with efficient cruising speeds,” said Undersecretary Bengzon.
The Cruise Strategy also identified developments in the Turquoise Triangle that linking the popular tourist destinations of Manila, Boracay, and Puerto Princesa in Palawan. The potential for new cruise destinations in the north of Luzon, where ships departing East Asian hubs can arrive the next day, has likewise been pinpointed in the plan.
“Developing the Philippines will be great for the Asian cruise industry” said Ted Blamey, CHART Principal. “As the mainstream Asian source markets begin to develop, slightly longer cruise durations will become popular. This is especially because they will allow much more diverse itineraries, offer distinctively different destinations and optimize winter deployment. The DOT is to be congratulated for their foresight in commissioning the strategy. It is perfect timing”, he added.
The Philippine Cruise Strategy project originated from the recommendation at the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Forum in Manila in 2014. “The active participation and sage advice of the CLIA members and the USAID executives was hugely beneficial. And without the enthusiastic support of many DOT executives and buy-in from the government and private sector, this work would not have been possible. The Philippines is going to be a cruise destination to watch!” said Blamey.
“We are confident that this comprehensive strategy and associated action plans will set a course for the Philippines to become a much more prominent cruise destination in the future. The strategy fits perfectly into the National Tourism Development Plan and aligns with the country’s commitment to enhance its attractiveness to the world’s cruise lines,” Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Jr., who is championing the new direction within the Philippine government, said.
With the implementation commencing this year, “Our investments in infrastructure, streamlining of regulatory services, and development of attractions through close coordination with stakeholders will definitely excite the interest of cruise lines and their guests. The Philippines expects not only to dramatically increase the number of transit calls, but also position itself as a much-needed alternative homeport between Singapore and China/Hong Kong,” Secretary Jimenez enthused.