MANILA -- The Philippines will host the highly prestigious 11th World Congress of the Club of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World next year which will showcase Puerto Galera as a prime tourist destination.
The congress, slated for late November 2015, will culminate the Visit the Philippines year. It is expected to attract more than 100 tourism officials from 20 countries who will be looking at Puerto Galera and its capacity to take on an increased number of tourists.
Puerto Galera Most Beautiful Bay Inc. (PGMBBI) head Hubert d’Aboville said Puerto Galera is a good microcosm of the Philippines as a tourism destination.
"In Puerto Galera, we have the beaches, resorts, multiple diving spots, great food, entertainment for the whole family, and the warm hospitality of the Filipinos. During the congress, we are not just showcasing Puerto Galera but we are pushing for Philippine tourism as a whole," d'Aboville said.
The attractions of Mindoro
Puerto Galera is about three-and-a-half hours away from Manila through bus and ferry rides. It has multiple accommodations from one star to five star hotels and resorts.
Puerto Galera is also the gateway to the island of Mindoro and the ancestral territory of eight distinct ethno-linguistic indigenous groups, the Mangyans, who struggle to preserve their cultural identity.
The island of Mindoro offers a great potential for ecotourism development that could in return support the preservation of its natural and cultural heritage including the preservation of the critically endangered Tamaraw, a species of dwarf buffalo strictly endemic to this island.
According to d'Aboville, the World Congress of the Club of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World will be held in Manila with the general assembly in Puerto Galera. The Department of Tourism with its Tourism Promotions Board will be the main sponsors with the local government of Oriental Mindoro and the town of Puerto Galera heavily involved.
For his part, Puerto Galera Mayor Hubbert Christopher Dolor said: "Our community is looking forward to hosting the congress. We take great pride in how we have preserved the natural beauty of Puerto Galera. The lush greenery and the beautiful beaches that we have will be in full display during the congress."
The five-day conference is expected to discuss environmental issues including the challenges and importance of preserving the ecosystem. New bays that are up for inclusion in the Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club will be presented during the congress.
Puerto Galera Bay, which in 2005 became a full member of the Club of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World, is increasingly becoming a favorite destination of European travelers.
The Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club is a UNESCO-supported organization that has been advocating the protection, enhancement, promotion, and commitment of prime bays globally. It also seeks to maintain the balance between the economic development and the conservation of natural heritage.
PGMBBI is a non-profit organization composed of Puerto Galera residents that are responsible for the overall preservation of the Puerto Galera Bay and its coastal environment.