DOT pushes convergence approach to industry stakeholders
Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - June 28, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) continues to push for a convergence approach in developing the tourism sector as it recently held another round of consultation meetings with industry stakeholders.

“This dialogue was organized to give us a venue to further stimulate the industry to be competitive, sustainable and inclusive,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

The DOT said decision makers and senior executives from the accommodation and transportation sectors, service providers and tourism associations joined the meeting with the DOT’s executive committee, regional directors and attached agencies.

Convergence workshop and synergy sessions were also held for the travel industry representatives and the marketing officers of the DOT and Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) for key, strategic and opportunity markets.

In addition, exchanges were made on niche markets for meeting, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE), dive, English as second language (ESL), cruise, medical and wellness products.

“This is the perfect venue for both sides, the DOT and private sector, to touch bases with each other,” Tourism Congress of the Philippines president Jose Clemente III said.

Among the concerns raised during the meeting were the DOT accreditation system, National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP), international tourist and domestic tourist arrival targets, sustainable tourism, carrying capacity, charter flight moratorium, and collaboration with local government units.

“This (tourism industry consultation meeting) is just the beginning of more engagement and cooperation,” TPB chief operating officer Marie Venus Tan said.

DOT Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. said the consultative exercise, alongside other institutional mechanisms, hopefully would sustain partnerships and facilitate achievement of NTDP goals.

In January, Puyat spearheaded the NTDP 2016-2022 mid-term review that aims to reassess the NTDP targets and DOT’s strategic action programs to make them more competitive, inclusive and sustainable.

“During this mid-term review, we must together revisit the goals set during the inception of the plan and determine which components need fine-tuning and which ones are working wonders as drawn,” the tourism chief earlier said.

Puyat earlier emphasized the need to revise the targets under the current NTDP specifically the domestic arrivals targets and the gross domestic product (GDP) contribution of the sector.

In 2018, domestic tourists reached 110 million, higher than the 89 million target for 2022 under the NTDP.

The tourism sector also surpassed the 2022 GDP target contribution of 10 percent as it registered a 12.7 percent contribution in 2018.

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