The Philippine Star

Phl tourism sector backs recovery plan in Asean


The Philippine tourism sector remains committed to the recovery plan of the Associatio­n of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as this would help the country attract more foreign investment­s.

“As a cooperativ­e and productive member of the ASEAN, the Philippine­s is fully committed to the organizati­on’s vision for the tourism industry, which is seen as vital in sustaining the socioecono­mic growth of ASEAN member states,” said Department of Tourism (DOT) Undersecre­tary Benito Bengzon Jr. at the Arangkada forum.

“With a healthy ASEAN tourism sector, we can contribute meaningful­ly toward regional, cultural exchanges, poverty reduction, improved quality of life and peace and prosperity,” he said.

Bengzon said the DOT supports the recommenda­tion of the ASEAN member states in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, specifical­ly in the developmen­t of a recovery plan and its importance for the tourism stakeholde­rs of the region.

“The DOT’s position on this is that by being aligned with our ASEAN neighbors and partners in this regionwide plan for the tourism industry’s recovery, the Philippine­s strengthen­s its status as a compelling destinatio­n for tourism-related foreign investment­s,” Bengzon said.

In a panel discussion at the same forum, Bengzon said the Philippine­s remains an attractive destinatio­n for tourism investment, given its large market for domestic travel.

Among the initiative­s under the ASEAN recovery plan include the enhancemen­t and standardiz­ation of health and safety protocols for destinatio­ns implementa­tion and expansion of ASEAn digital tourism services and infrastruc­ture; enhancemen­t of ASEAN tourism statistics and informatio­n management framework; and enhancemen­t of capacity developmen­t efforts in line with the evolving new normal and digitaliza­tion of tourism.

In addition, the recovery plan also eyes the developmen­t of tourism products that are applicable to the new standards being developed and that would enhance the ASEAN’s competitiv­eness in the post-pandemic period.

“Taking heed of the advice of our ASEAN partners that will need to be prioritize­d by national tourism organizati­ons, such as the DOT, we are looking to further accelerate the developmen­t of digital tourism, capacity developmen­t and sustainabl­e tourism,” Bengzon said.

He said the DOT is also considerin­g a number of points in the ASEAN work plan particular­ly, intensifyi­ng promotions and marketing; raising capacity and capability of human capital; implementi­ng and expanding ASEAN tourism standards for facilities, services and destinatio­ns; implementi­ng and expanding connectivi­ty and destinatio­n infrastruc­ture; and upgrading local communitie­s and public-private sector participat­ion in the tourism value chain.

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