DOT urges hotels to conform to Asean tourism standards
Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - May 24, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — To showcase the prevalence of quality accommodation facilities in the country, the Department of Tourism (DOT) is calling on hotels to join the ASEAN Tourism Standards Awards 2020.

Hotels are invited to submit applications for categories such as the green hotel award, meeting incentives and exhibitions (MICE) venue hotel category, clean tourist city and sustainable tourism award.

In an earlier memorandum, the DOT office of tourism standards and regulation called on its regional offices to campaign for the participation of their stakeholders in the said awards.

“As we work to continuously engage and inspire our industry stakeholders to advocate sustainable tourism in their operational activity so as to fulfill our commitment of making the ASEAN region a quality destination, the office of tourism standard and regulation thru the standards development division announces the official opening of its call for participation in the 2020 ASEAN Tourism Awards,” the DOT earlier said.

The awarding ceremony will be held in Brunei Darussalam during the ASEAN Tourism Forum in January 2020.

Deadline for application is on May 30.

The ASEAN tourism standards were created by the 10 ASEAN member countries aimed at standardizing tourism services essential for enhancing quality of tourism products and services as well as promoting responsible management among tourism businesses and stakeholders in the region.

ASEAN has created seven tourism standards under the auspices of ASEAN National Tourism Organizations particularly for Green Hotels, Spa Services Standard, Clean Tourist City, Community Based Tourism, Homestay, Public Toilet and the MICE Venue Standard.

In March, 36 local tourism service providers received ASEAN Tourism Standards Awards for categories such as homestay, community-based tourism, public toilet and spa service.

In an earlier interview, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat told The STAR that more training for workers employed by the tourism industry are needed to help improve the performance of the Philippines in the region based on the ASEAN tourism standards.

“It’s more of training and we should really give the training for free,” Puyat said.

“But maybe we will prioritize first the tourist destinations and the lesser known destinations. I really want to promote the lesser known destinations,” Puyat added.

“We will be focusing our training on lesser known destinations especially emerging ones so that when the tourists come they are ready,”Puyat said.

Puyat said these training programs will be centered on sustainable and responsible tourism.

“Sustainable tourism is also about investing in people, providing training and the proper tools to raise our workers’ capacity and capability,” Puyat said.

The tourism chief said one of its initiatives in training people is aligned with its agreement with the ASEAN.

She emphasized that in 2017, the Office of the President directed that the DOT fully implement the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Tourism Professionals.

To better implement this, the DOT is working with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and the Tourism Industry Board Foundation.

“Together we are forming a network of master trainers who can exchange knowledge and teach potential employees in the housekeeping, food production, food and beverage services, and front office labor divisions,” Puyat said.

In 2017, the tourism sector generated 5.3 million jobs, 13.1 percent of the country’s total employment for that year.

Based on the National Tourism Development Plan, the DOT is projecting tourism sector employment to hit 6.5 million by the end of the Duterte Administration in 2022.

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