BAGUIO CITY – The Regional Tourism Department launched the 1st North Philippines Tourism Forum and Career Fair which aims to highlight the rise of the Cordillera region as a meeting, incentive travel, convention, and exhibition career hub for tourism.
During its formal launching at the CAP Convention Center at Camp John Hay, DOT Cordillera Regional Director Marie Venus Tan emphasized the need to strengthen the human resource base for tourism particularly in the hotel and restaurants, cruise, airlines and aviation, and the travel and tours industry not only in Cordillera, but for Regions 1, 2 and 3 which will help spur the sustained growth of the industry in the said areas.
“The economic social environmental impact of tourism is so significant and vital to create sustainable jobs and improve the quality of life in North Philippines that is why we are satisfied with the successful conduct of the event considering the enormous participation fro various tourism industry stakeholders,” she said.
The DOT official believes that to have a strong business foundation employers must look for quality employees having excellent customer service skills to be able to deal with the fast changing times in the different fields of the industry.
Tan explained, “Tourism is considered to be the most inclusive industry today. Tourism plays a dominant role and is still one of the major contributors to the Philippine economy.”
Meanwhile, forum guest speaker Assistant Secretary Frederick Alegre pointed out that the countries tourism growth indicators are in the uptrend based on the inbound visitor traffic from July of 2017 reaching 3.92 million or an 11 percent increase from the 3.53 million it registered from the same period of last year.
“On the other hand, visitor receipts totaled 179.86 billion or an increase of 21 percent compared to the 148.56 billion in the same period of last year,” said the spokesperson.
The increase is also attributed to successful marketing initiatives that attract high spenders and the aggressive collaboration between private sector and local governments to produce diversification and destination development sites, to which there are more sites to visit that give tourists more things to do.
But despite the said initiatives Baguio City Congressman Mark Go noted the small budget allocation by the government to the tourism department which he plans to increase for the coming budget deliberations for next year. “The tourism industry must be supported since this is the end-all and be-all in terms of economy. Although they only have a 3 billion budget for this year, we encourage the department to double its request for budget next year to support the various programs of tourism particularly in the Northern Philippines.”
By Dexter A. See