The University of the Philippines – Asian Institute of Tourism , Tourism Foundation Inc. and the Philippine Department of Tourism holds the 1st National Conference on Tourism Governance today at the SMX Mall of Asia, Pasay City, with the theme “Sustainability and Inclusivity in Governance of Tourism Destinations. The event is well-attended by more than 500 participants from local government units all over the country, tourism officers from different regions and provinces, private stakeholders, and other tourism – related players.
In the said conference, Prof. Alfredo Pascual, UP President, advised the participants, thru Prof.Wendell Capili, that it is but an opportune time for this kind of conference to be held since we are all getting ready to cope with global standards as the ASEAN Economic integration will bring in in 2014. He further stated that there is no doubt tourism plays an important role in helping out the country in terms of economic potentials. He reported that Jan – July 2013 brought 2.8M visitor arrivals, which is 11% growth from 2012; the tourism activities contributes 6% to the Philippine GDP, and this is expected to grow at 7.8% in 2014. For growth to continue and harness the potentials of tourism and to achieve sustainable development, full cooperation from all levels – national government, local government units, academe, indigenous groups, local communities and private enterprises will definitely enhance all its objectives.
In a keynote speech thru DOT USec. Atty. Maria Victoria Yasmin, DOT Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. assures the tourism stakeholders that despite the challenging calamities that hit the Philippines recently, tourism programs are still very well in place. Implementation of the Tourism Development Plan continues. The Tourism Development Plan embodies the following three objectives:
- Develop and market competitive products and destinations
- Improve market access, connectivity and infrastructre.
- Improvements on institutional tourism governance and human resources.
Teeming with all “technical” tourism governance matters,the conference will be held until Nov. 26, 2013.