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Philippine tourism sector backs recovery plan in ASEAN
“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 Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. at the Arangkada forum.
Philstar.com/Kat Leandicho

Philippine tourism sector backs recovery plan in ASEAN

Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - December 4, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — 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 region-wide 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.

ASEAN DOT
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