Carrion takes her oath as first COO of Tourism Promotions Board; tourism industry hails and welcomes the election

    The entire tourism industry has rallied behind the election of Department of Tourism Undersecretary Cynthia Carrion as the first COO of the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB).

    Board members of the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) representing the different public and private sectors show support in the Oath-Taking Ceremony of TPB Chief Operations Officer Cynthia Carrion (6th from left), officiated by Department of Tourism Secretary Joseph Durano. Shown are (from left to right): Dexter Deyto, Philippine Association of Convention/Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers (PACEOS); Cesar Cruz, Philippine Tour Operators Association (PHILTOA); Jaime Bautista, Philippine Airlines; Celine Clemente, Asian Gem and Tourism Foundation; Daniel Corpuz, Philippine Convention and Visitors Corporation (PCVC); Thelma Dumpit Murillo, Department of Trade and Industry; Rose Libongco, Hotel Sales and Marketing Association; and Eric Tamayo, representative of Undersecretary Edsel Custodio, Department of Foreign Affairs. TPB Board Members not in the photo are: Undersecretary Edward Harun Pagunsan, Department of Transportation and Communications; and Mark Lapid, Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA).

    Usec. Carrion took her oath of office in a well-attended ceremony before DOT Secretary Ace Durano last April 6, 2010. The multi-sectoral support for Carrion underscores her remarkable accomplishments and qualifications in promoting the Philippines as a tourism destination.

    Carrion holds the position of Undersecretary for Sports and Wellness Tourism before she was elected to TPB. She has also held top-level positions in the Philippine Convention and Visitors Corporation (PCVC), Philippine Commission on Sports Scuba Diving, Siargao Integrated Tourism Program, Philippine Sports Commission, among many others.

    Celine Clemente, Director of the TPB and part of the ten-member TPB Board that elected Carrion with an overwhelming mandate, says “The Tourism Promotions Board is fortunate to be headed by a dynamic and determined leader under the person of COO Cynthia Carrion. She fits perfectly well in representing the Board both locally and internationally.”

    “Undersecretary Carrion is a very energetic leader and has been very supportive of the country’s diving community, as well as marine conservation. The Philippines is the center of marine biodiversity in the world, and she has done a lot to make sure that this message gets across divers in all parts of the globe,” says Gigi Santos, a Commissioner in the Philippine Commission on Sports Scuba Diving.

    The retirement sector has also stated its support for the leadership of Carrion.

    “We are delighted that Undersecretary Carrion was elected as Head of the Tourism Promotions Board. We, in the Philippine Retirement Authority, have closely worked together with Usec. Carrion on how our agencies can unite our common efforts in bringing in the tourists and potential retirees to the country. Our working relationship has been very fruitful. Her endless passion for excellence has opened countless opportunities in terms of projects and programs for the tourism and retirement industries. Her creative and innovative approaches provide the much needed vision in making the Philippines as a premiere tourist and retiree destination in Asia. Needless to say, her exemplary leadership in the Tourism Promotions Board will spearhead the industry to greater heights,” says Gen. Reynaldo Lingat, Acting General Manager of the Philippine Retirement Authority.

    The medical tourism industry, of which Carrion is a staunch advocate, was represented by Health and Wellness Alliance of the Philippines (HEAL Philippines), an organization of hospitals, clinics, spas and other medical tourism providers. In an official statement, the Board of Directors of HEAL Philippines said:

    “Without the dedicated, competent and inspiring leadership of Undersecretary Carrion in the past few years, the world would not know—as it does now—that the Philippines is a center for health and wellness, and home to competent, compassionate healthcare professionals in Asia. The medical and wellness tourism industry’s growth was propelled by her office and as a result, placed the Philippines in the international limelight. It has generated US$350 million since it was launched and is projected to bring in a million foreign patients that will generate some US$1 billion in the next three years.”

    “Usec. Carrion’s new job as COO of the TPB is just an expansion of what she has already done, and is still doing for the health and wellness sectors in the Philippines. She has significantly and effectively promoted the Philippines for medical and sports tourism. There is no doubt that she will do the same to help Philippine tourism in a greater capacity,” says HEAL Philippines Secretary General Joyce Alumno.

    Nurture Spa owner and President of the Philippine Wellness and Spa Association (PhilWell) Cathy Turvill also voiced her support for Usec. Carrion.

    “Undersecretary Carrion has been a prime mover in our spa and wellness sector, successfully getting the medical and wellness sectors to form HEAL Philippines. She is action-oriented and has accomplished a lot to build our industry,” says Turvill.

    Noted environmentalist Atty. Antonio Oposa, President of the Law of Nature Foundation, likewise conveyed support for the new COO.

    “The turn around of the mindset in the Visayan Sea started because of our collaboration with Usec. Carrion. She was the live wire that made things happen…We wish to assure her in her new position that as she embarks on bigger undertakings, we will continue to be with her in her efforts to promote sustainable eco-tourism,” says Atty. Oposa.

    Carrion’s experience spans many decades covering service and management in different government bodies, as well as socio-civic and non-governmental organizations. She has also been invited to present and speak in many tourism conferences, conventions, seminars and other events around the world.

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