Tourism Summit 2019

Cooperation not competition urged in ASEAN

Pasay City– The Tourism Summit 2019 which was held here on May 2, 2019 at the World Trade Center, promotes tourism in ASEAN with more cooperation rather than competitiion.
The summit was for the sharing of experts on Opening Up Land, Sea, and Sky for Global Tourism, Discovering the Different Island Beats, Where the Tourists Stay, and So Much to Do, So Much to See, So We Make Time.
But a significant talk was made on Tourism: One of the Pillars for Greater Inclusive Growth that defined priority sectors for development, namely; agri-business, digitalization, and tourism.
Agribusiness has been launched by the government, in partnership with Go Negosyo to provide more opportunities and sustainable businesses to farmers in the country.
The country has seen various digital platforms being launched such as Grab, Angkas, Lazada, and Shopee that empowered more Filipinos to become self-earning entrepreneurs. The people have to accept and embrace the digital era for the future of tourism.
Tourism is seen to be a core industry for the country and will continue to be so with the beautiful beaches and amazing natural wonders in all regions that are deemed unparalleled in the world.
“I believe tourism is the most inclusive sector as it extends not just to the services provided by airlines and travel agencies, but also includes the culinary industry, retail, transportation, logistics, medical, and agriculture. . . Indeed, a boost in tourism is a boost to the economy”, said Joey Concepcion, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo Founder.
Close to a thousand attended the summit that tackled the 5As of tourism development, namely, Arrival, Access, Accommodations, Attractions, and Activities in the Philippines.
To welcome more tourists, there is a need to boost investment in building airports, seaports, and other transport hubs in strategic points.
There is also a need to link tourists to tourism attractions, services, and facilities through travel agencies, tourist operators and tour guides.
Therefore, there is a need to build wider and better roads and bridges to conveniently connect the tourists to airports, their accommodations, and other points of interest. The network of utilities such as power, communication services, water, and others provide basic comforts to travelers.
Ensuring that all types of tourists – backpackers, budget travelers, and even luxury jetsetters– a variety of accommodations should be provided for them including hotelsand other lodging facilities, including homestays.
One resource person said that homestays make tourists stay with families as in immersions.  “Stay away from big cities, go to the rural areas,” he encourages tourists.
The country boasts of many great attractions, both natural and manmade, that entice millions of tourists. Importance should be given to promoting the sites and in protecting or preserving them.
Activities such as festivals and cultural events, shopping recreation, sports events and the like should be further enhanced to maximize the experiences of tourists.
Secretary Bernadette Romulo – Puyat of the Department of Tourism reported that 7.1 million tourists visited the country earning a total of P7.8 billion in revenues. An increase of 17% compared to the year 2017.
On jobs, 5.3 million were generated which is also a 13.1% increase from 2017.
She also talked about agri-tourism which is a new thrust of the Department of Tourism and which saw tremendous opportunities in the marriage of farm and tourism.
The common sentiment among the participants was that tourism in the ASEAN region should promote cooperation rather than competition among the stakeholders.** Roger Sacyaten

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