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Sustaining Growth of Philippine Tourism

tempo editorial nov252013

Three international tourism bodies – the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) – are helping the Philippines in its tourism-related program in areas affected by the recent earthquake and super-typhoon.

The government, through the Department of Tourism (DOT), said the outpouring of support shows that travel and tourism have transformed the globe into one community, ready to stand by each other not only in times of festivities, but in times of challenges.

“With assistance from UNWTO, PATA, and WTTC, tourism industry is not only an economic growth and development; but it is also a compassionate and supportive community,” the DOT said. PATA is in contact with tourism officials to offer moral support and practical. The UNWTO, tasked to promote responsible, sustainable, and universally accessible tourism, supports the recovery plan.

A priority in recovery efforts is to restore tourism income by coordinating with private and public efforts. Top spots in the Visayas such as Boracay, Cebu, Bohol, Iloilo, and Puerto Princesa are accessible to tourists, through their ports of entry – Boracay island through Kalibo and Caticlan in Aklan, Cebu through Mactan International Airport, Bohol through Tagbilaran City Airport, and Iloilo through the Iloilo and Bacolod-Silay Airports. The United States Agency for International Development also extended technical assistance to DOT in preparing a recovery plan for Cebu-Bohol Tourism Development Areas.

DOT assists travelers and those already in the country for travel information through its website (www.tourism.gov.ph). It assures the traveling public that tourism establishments are in operation in other parts of the country where some of the key tourist sports are located. Philippine tourism will bounce back in no time at all, the DOT declared, noting that “tourism continues to be one of the major contributors to the economy, playing a significant role in rebuilding lives and businesses in communities.”

We congratulate the Department of Tourism headed by Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr., United Nations World Tourism Organization Secretary General Taleb D. Rifai, Pacific Asia Travel Association Chief Executive Officer Martin Craigs, World Travel and Tourism Council President and Chief Executive Officer David Scowsill, and United States Agency for International Development Country Mission Director Gloria D. Steele, in their concerted efforts to ensure that the tourism industry continues to be a factor for socio-economic growth in our Republic of the Philippines. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY!