BBM eyes upgrading PH tourism roadmap

22 April 2022

WITH tourism as one of the sectors badly hit by the Covid19 pandemic, presidential frontrunner Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos is looking at upgrading the Department of Tourism's (DOT) roadmap to hasten the industry’s recovery and help contribute in the country’s overall economic outlook.

Marcos said the UniTeam's roadmap aims to redirect the focus of DOT from just being a marketing agent of the country's tourist spots, but also for it to directly manage tourism destinations to determine the social and economic impacts in their respective localities, and to the country to a larger extent.

"The country is gifted with the most beautiful tourist spots globally, which when harnessed and utilized properly could help fast-track the country’s economic development. It will also help create jobs for the locals in the areas where they are located," he said.

"The next administration must revitalize the tourism industry and support its further development that will be a big boost for the country as we recover from the pandemic," he added.

Marcos has always believed that tourism is an effective instrument for economic growth as the industry can generate jobs and help increase the income of local government units.

Based on the latest World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Economic Impact Report, travel and tourism in the country has recovered 1.3 million jobs and generated USD41 billion for 2021.

The DOT's National Tourism Development Plan 2016- 2022 promotes safe, fun, and competitive tourism; pursues sustainable, inclusive, and resilient tourism; and strengthens governance and destination management.

DOT has also prepared a "Tourism Response and Recovery Plan" which aims to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the industry.

The Partido Federal ng Pilipinas standard-bearer said a revitalized version of this plan will help the country further recover from the pandemic and be a blueprint for future crises.

Marcos plans to improve the agency's efforts by improving its website design and adding new features such as destination promotion thru a price-based strategy, an interactive Philippine map integrated with tourism products and destinations.

It will also include multilingual options; peer evaluation and post-vacation rankings; and promotional videos created by micro-influencers and vloggers.

The website will also have its mobile application or version, including a one-stop feature for all tourism needs.

The government, under the agency, must also provide more incentives and training for DOT tour guides to create more jobs in the industry.

“After seeing how they were heavily affected by the pandemic, the DOT must be ready to assist the tourism workers and ensure job security,” Marcos said.

He added there is also a need to ease travel regulations, especially for returning visitors, to encourage them to revisit the country.

"We need to look into the system again to give our tourists a better experience here in the country as tourism is one of our biggest contributors," he said.

Based on the data from DOT, the country welcomed more than eight million tourists, and the industry has contributed P2.51 trillion, or nearly 13 percent, to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2019 or before the pandemic hit the country.

With lower alert levels in different provinces, Marcos also encouraged domestic travelers to start visiting tourist attractions and spots in the country.

While still governor of Ilocos Norte some few years back, Marcos pushed to strengthen tourism after seeing how it helped the province's economic development.

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FILIPINO VERSION

Programa ng turismo palalakasin ni BBM

PAGTUTUUNAN ng matinding pansin at bibigyan ng todong suporta ni presidential frontrunner Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos ang industriya ng turismo matapos siyang mahalal sa darating na halalan sa Mayo 9.

Aniya, kailangang isaayos at palakasin ang nasabing industriya sapagkat isa ito sa pinakamalubhang nasalanta ng manalasa ang pandemya sa bansa, na nagresulta upang mawalan ng trabaho ang daan-libong mga manggagawa na umaasa sa nasabing sektor.

Ayon kay Marcos, ang tourism roadmap ng UniTeam ay naglalayon na gawing mas malawak at epektibo ang paghawak ng Department of Tourism sa mga programa ng turismo.

Sa ganitong paraan aniya ay mas makatitiyak na may naiaambag ang mga negosyong may kaugnayan sa turismo sa mga komunidad kung saan nandoroon ang mga tourist destinations.

"The country is gifted with the most beautiful tourist spots globally, which when harnessed and utilized properly could help fast-track the country’s economic development. It will also help create jobs for the locals in the areas where they are located," sabi niya.

"The next administration must revitalize the tourism industry and support its further development that will be a big boost for the country as we recover from the pandemic," dagdag pa niya.

Noon pa man ay naniniwala na si Marcos na isa sa pinaka-epektibong instrumento para sa pag-unlad ng ekonomiya ang turismo dahil isa itong industriya na nagbibigay ng trabaho sa mga Pilipino at nagpapataas ng kita ng mga lokal na pamahalaan.

Ayon sa pinakabagong report ng World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Economic Impact, noong 2021 ay nakabangon na ang turismo sa bansa matapos makagawa ng 1.3 million na trabaho at kumita ng USD41 bilyon.

Ang National Tourism Development Plan 2016- 2022 ng DOT ay nagtataguyod ng ligtas, masaya, at mataas na antas ng turismo; nagnanais na magkaroon ng matatag na turismo, at palakasin ang pamamahala sa mga destinasiyon sa bansa.

Naghanda din ang DOT ng "Tourism Response and Recovery Plan" na naglalayon naman na mabawasan ang epekto ng pandemiya sa industriya.

Ayon pa sa kanya, ang roadmap ng UniTeam ay makatutulong upang mas lalong mabilis na makabangon ang bansa at ito ang magiging blueprint para paghandaan ang mga darating pang suliranin na maaring kaharapin ng industriya sa mga darating pang panahon.

Plano ni Marcos na mas mapaganda ang serbisyo ng ahensiya sa pamamagitan ng pagsasaayos ng kanilang website na dadagdagan ng mga bagong features gaya ng price- based destination promotions, at interactive Philippine map kung saan makikita ang mga produkto at destinasiyon sa bawat lalawigan.

Nais niya ring magkaroon ito ng iba’t- ibang translation ang mga featured destinations para sa mga dayuhan, at maglagay ng mga promotional videos na gawa ng mga micro-influencers at vloggers.

Balak ding niyang magkaroon ng mobile application o version ng website, kasama na ang one-stop feature para sa lahat ng kakailanganin ng isang turista sa pagbisita sa bansa.

Ani Marcos, dapat ay maglaan din ng dagdag insentibo at training ang pamahalaan para sa mga DOT -accredited tourist guides  upang mas dumami pa ang trabaho sa bansa.

“After seeing how they were heavily affected by the pandemic, the DOT must be ready to assist the tourism workers and ensure job security,” sabi niya.

Dagdag pa niya, kailangan ding mas pagaanin ang mga travel regulations, lalo para sa mga bisitang babalik upang mas lalo silang ganahan na bumisitang muli sa bansa.

"We need to look into the system again to give our tourists a better experience here in the country as tourism is one of our biggest contributors," he said.

Base sa datos ng DOT, mahigit walong milyong turista ang dumating sa bansa noong 2019, bago magsimula ang pandemiya, at nakapag-ambag ito ng P2.51 trillion, o 13 percent, sa Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ng bansa.

Ngayong mas pinababa na ang mga alert levels sa iba’t-ibang lalawigan, hinihikayat ni Marcos ang mga domestic travelers na muling bumisita sa mga tourist attractions at spots sa bansa.

Noong siya ay gobernador pa ng Ilocos Norte, isinulong ni Marcos na mapalakas ang turismo matapos niyang makita ang malaking naitulong nito sa ekonomiya ng lalawigan.

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