Learn­ing tourism from oth­ers

Watchmen Daily Journal - - Opinion -

Iwas re­cently in­vited on a fa­mil­iar­iza­tion tour of Bali, In­done­sia. Land­ing at Ngu­rah Rai In­ter­na­tional Air­port, the im­mi­gra­tion process was swift and the wellplaced sig­nage en­sures one will not get lost. It was an im­pres­sive ter­mi­nal. There were no on­look­ers and by­standers were not al­lowed in the premises, a far cry from the air­ports in the Philip­pines. Lo­cal air­port au­thor­i­ties should in­stall a space for well-wish­ers, where they are away from pas­sen­gers and un­der ap­pro­pri­ate se­cu­rity.

There were also no fix­ers or taxi driv­ers in­tend­ing to cheat tourists at the In­done­sian air­port. In the Philip­pines, fix­ers of­ten con­spire with air­port staff, which should com­pel lo­cal ad­min­is­tra­tions to crack­down on the prac­tice. Our lo­cal air­port of­fi­cials must learn from other coun­tries.

In the same vein, tourism prac­tices of other coun­tries should also be adopted to en­sure tourist vis­its are has­sle-free. Un­for­tu­nately, many tourists in the Philip­pines are taken ad­van­tage of by taxi driv­ers, en­counter fix­ers of all kinds, and are charged higher ho­tel rates; not to men­tion, thieves are also peer­ing around the cor­ner – for Filipinos, where there are tourists, there are op­por­tu­ni­ties.

The Depart­ment of Tourism is re­spon­si­ble for pro­mot­ing the lo­cal travel and leisure sec­tor; while the Depart­ment of the In­te­rior and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, through lo­cal gov­ern­ment units and the Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice, over­see peace and or­der. How­ever, while a mas­sive ef­fort is be­ing put into tourism pro­mo­tion, the same can­not be said for in­still­ing dis­ci­pline among lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

Bali’s pri­mary in­dus­try is tourism. While thou­sands visit the is­land ev­ery day, it is dis­ap­point­ing to see Philip­pines cities not record­ing sim­i­lar num­bers. Plus, vis­i­tors are not only vis­it­ing the In­done­sian des­ti­na­tion for the beaches, but for land­marks and a cul­tural ex­pe­ri­ence.

This col­umn greets Tan­tan Pu­gales, Pamela Gue­varra, Doc Joe Javel­lana, Lito Aves, Doc Osky Grageda, Jun La­garde, Pipoy Olaira, Toto Tar­rosa, Alex Cas­tor, Rodel Guinoo, Richard Oquendo, Art Colme­dora, Reuben Tam­pos, Ger­ard Mora, Joanne Yoshida, Archie Gu­palor, and Ti­bong Jardeleza./WDJ

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