Philippines pushes for sustainable tourism
Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - January 26, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat is urging its ASEAN neighbors to follow its lead in pushing for sustainable tourism and responsible tourists.

During the ASEAN Tourism Forum in Vietnam last week, Puyat shared the Philippine’s experience in the rehabilitation of Boracay, the country’s top tourism destination.

 “I firmly believe that we have the same goals of a healthy environment, a healthy community and a prosperous economy brought about by responsible tourism,” she said.

“In pursuit of a sustainable and responsible tourism industry, we as the ASEAN must maintain that long term benefits are more important than a quick buck in exchange for our environment’s integrity,” Puyat said.

Boracay had a soft opening on Oct. 26, six months after the island was closed from tourists after it was dubbed a ‘cesspool’ by President Duterte due to its environmental problems.

“With the re-opening of Boracay, we are glad that the message of sustainability has reached far and wide,” Puyat said.

Puyat also noted the importance of regional cooperation, saying the countries under the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) compliment each other’s efforts in developing the tourism industry in the region.

“This is very much what we need to be able to support a growing, competitive and most importantly, sustainable tourism industry,” Puyat said.

Puyat called on everyone to further support programs of the APT, particularly the workshop on Environmental Management Standards in Tourism which will be held from July 25 to 26 of this year.

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