Bersyon sa Filipino.
Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. has urged the country’s independent travel agencies to use their collective influence to cure the ills of Philippine air transport to push further the gains in the tourism industry.
Speaking before the National Association of Independent Travel Agencies (NAITAS), Marcos said he knows first-hand how tourism can create jobs and income opportunities for the people having led the development of Ilocos Norte into a premier tourist destination during his three-term as governor of the province.
According to the Department of Tourism (DOT), the industry revenues reached $5 billion in 2015 with over 5 million foreign tourists visiting the Philippines last year from a mere 3.14 million in 2008.
What is holding back the country's tourism and air travel industry, according to Marcos, is the sorry state of the airports, including Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) which has been tagged as one of the world’s worst from 2011 to 2014.
“Pero ang takot ko ay baka bumalik na naman tayo sa listahan. Ito ay dahilan ng—alam niyo na—air traffic, flight delays, passenger delays and overbookings gone wrong. Idagdag pa natin ang kahiya-hiyang kalokohan ng “Tanim-bala” syndicate!,” Marcos explained.
As an indispensable and influential group in the travel and tourism industry, Marcos said NAITAS has a crucial role to play in the improvement not only of Philippine air transportation and but the tourism industry as well.
“Safety and convenience of your customers should always be your number one priority. In turn, their satisfaction can create a positive feedback loop that will augur well for our tourism industry,” Marcos remarked.
He said the group should remain united and strive for a conscious and collective effort to improve the overall business environment in the Philippine travel industry for better opportunities and better service to the consumers under the ideals of fair competition and ethical practices.
Likewise, he advised NAITAS to leave behind any controversies in the past that may have caused problems within the organization.
“Sabi ko nga po sa aking advertisement ngayon: “Hindi ako ang aking nakaraan”. Hindi tayo limitado sa kung ano ang mga naging pangyayari sa ating nakaraan—lalo na kung hindi maganda o mapait ang ating pinagdaanan. Ang mahalaga ay kung ano ang ngayon, at kung ano ang magandang hangarin at paghahanda na ginagawa natin para sa ating hinaharap,” Marcos remarked.
With the group’s help, the Senator said he looks forward to safer flights that are on time but also airport procedures done not only systematically but also respecting the rights of the public.