La Mesa Eco Park

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CHAPTER 1
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Introduction
The tourism industry is unlike any other because, instead of a product, you are selling a place and all the things it has to offer. You are competing with the entire world every time you promote tourism in a given destination, and this high level of competition demands a creative and unique approach. To be successful, your marketing should constantly put forth the best possible image of your destination, while creating interest on a broad scale in as many ways as possible. The La Mesa Eco Park provides healthful outdoor recreation and a true forest experience. It is a living classroom and laboratory for environmental education and aims to be a center for biodiversity conservation. Today, the park continues to be a popular destination for photography shoots, family outings and picnics, and educational field trips. In fact, it doubled visitor traffic - from getting 155,666 in 2005 to 281,846 in 2006. The Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP) in coordination with the Department of Tourism nominated the Project in August 2006 for their Best Tourism Practices Awards. In 2007, the Department of Tourism again nominated it as an official candidate for the prestigious Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Awards, Environment Category.
Because of its success and popularity, La Mesa Ecopark has become a center for Bantay Kalikasan's environmental advocacies and causes. It has contributed to the program's growing national prominence as the premier media-based environmental organization in the country.The Park has also been chosen as the venue for many prestigious environmental events, some of which were: Launch of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's 20 Million Trees for Life Project (18 July 2007); USAID and USDOE's Environmental Summer Camp with Ambassador Kristie Kenney as guest of honor (20 April 2007); and Ms. Philippines Earth Candidates' Environmental Tour and Treeplanting (13 April 2007).

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