United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) 6th International Tourism Forum for Parliamentarians and Local Authorities

Homegrown Congressman Edgar Chatto proved to be his own man in the world tourism  firmament when he presided over the  third of the four plenary sessions of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) 6th International Tourism Forum for Parliamentarians and Local Authorities when ended Friday in Cebu City.

The climax of the three day tourism shindig ended yesterday with a technical trip to Bohol with Cong. Chatto leading the visiting pack. 

Almost 400 prominent delegates from 78 nations in all continents participated in the world tourism event keynoted in the grand opening by Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo with Department of Tourism (DOT) Sec. Ace Durano as the main host. 

Chatto, who has trainings in law, economics and public administration, was tasked by the UNWTO to handle the discussion on the economic knowledge of tourism at the local level and measurement of employment in tourism sector. 

The session of extreme importance provided a deeper policy analysis on the impact of tourism on job creation and poverty alleviation as a strategy for economic growth and development of countries and their localities. 

The session, the third in the series of four during the world assembly, stressed the economics and social gauge of tourism through tourism satellite account and its local application, job creation through tourism activities, and tourism statistics as a means for molding policies and decisions. 

The congressman of the First District of Bohol and chairman of the House tourism committee moderated the session that mustered strong interest among the participants of global stature and distinction.  

Tourism ministers and parliamentarians mostly comprised the delegates, who also included inter-nation local officials, from across the globe who opened and concluded their four-day forum at the Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa in Cebu.  

Chatto was joined in the policy discussion by experts Jean Michel Couve, member of the Parliament of France, Antonio Massieu, chief of the UNWTO Bureau of Statistics and Tourism Satellite Account, and John Hockey, member of the Australian Parliament and former minister for Business and Tourism of Australia. 

Major challenges to tourism development were tackled seriously, including the alarming issue of climate change, so that social, environmental and economic sustainability could settle in the very heart of the tourism industry.  

Yesterday, Chatto led the UNWTO delegates to their Bohol technical visit, an instant global promotion of the province's leading destinations and attractions such as the baffling Chocolate Hills in Carmen and endangered tarsier, world's smallest and oldest living primate 

Few other Boholanos, like provincial Board Members Ester Corazon Galbreath and Alfonso Damalerio II, who had the rare chance of attending the global forum shared the pride attributed to the international delegates' praises for Chatto's skillful handling of the third plenary session.  

"This forum, from the unquestioned stature and prestige of its sponsors and the distinguished personalities of its participants, is destined to be a great and historic event in the development of world tourism," declared former Cebu governor and now Deputy House Speaker Pablo Garcia, who delivered a keynote on behalf of House Speaker Prospero Nograles. 

Chatto led the Philippine delegation to the UNWTO Conferences in Tunisia, South Africa and Colombia, South America last year that won for the country the right to host this year's UNWTO global forum. (Ven rebo Arigo)