The Department of Tourism reports a vibrant tourism industry for the Philippines and calls for a continuing partnership with media and other tourism stakeholders to ensure sustainable tourism growth for the country.
Secretary Wanda Teo, in her keynote message at the 2017 Media Congress here at Camp John Hay Convention Center, reported that the tourism industry has become a bright spot in the Philippine economy in the first year of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration with total revenue of P220.30 billion and close to six million foreign tourist arrivals from July 2016 to May 2017.
Teo also affirmed that with the Philippine Tourism Development Plan already aligned to the country’s Medium -Term Development Plan and the long term “Ambisyon Natin 2040” economic development plan, sustainable tourism growth is attainable.
One of the goals of the Philippine Tourism Development Plan is to reach 12 million international visitors and 89 million domestic tourists by 2022, she added.
As for DOT’s strategic programs, Teo disclosed that the government will continue investing, with the President committing P677 billion in tourism infrastructure. It will continue to encourage private investments especially on rural development; promote tourism MSMEs; enhance their human resources, and to enable the unemployed and indigents to partake in the development of eco-tourism sites, especially in the countryside.
With all the lined–up tourism development plans, Teo stressed the importance of having “shared responsibility” between the government and other stakeholders especially the media to ensure a sustainable growth for the country’s tourism industry.
“This is where your contribution means a lot, our friends; you have the talent and the power to build and change the nation,” she said.
The government sector rely on media, the Fourth Estate, as source of accurate, impartial and development – oriented information towards the realization of the full potential of Philippine tourism that is transforming the life of Filipinos, she added.
Teo also disclosed that she has directed all regional offices to establish and institutionalize the tourism media that will be at the helm of tourism efforts, particularly on communicating tourism programs, projects and activities in the country, as well as first-hand tourism updates. (JDP/Carlito C. Dar/PIA CAR)