DOT celebrates tourismâs contribution to Filipinos with new campaign
Members of the indigenous T’boli of South Cotobato performed during the launch of DOT's campaign.
Photo Release
DOT celebrates tourism’s contribution to Filipinos with new campaign
(The Philippine Star) - September 29, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) launched its latest campaign, The Tourism Decade, with the release of its latest AVP, a microsite with stories and mini-documentaries of individuals, and the opening of the multi-media exhibition, “Onwards: The Philippine Tourism in Intramuros.”

The launch event was held at Museo de Intramuros last September 27.

The Tourism Decade campaign commemorates the 10th anniversary of Republic Act 9593, better known as the Tourism Act of 2009. The campaign focuses on how the tourism industry provides inclusive growth and sustainable livelihood that benefit every Filipino, all made possible by R.A. 9593.

“The Tourism Decade celebration is an event not only to commemorate the law, but also to honor the travel industry’s contributions to the improvement of the lives of the Filipino people, and to bring attention to tourism’s functions as an engine of investment, employment, growth and national development,” said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat in her keynote speech.

“If not for the implementation of Tourism Act, it would have been difficult for us to see the rising impact of the tourism industry on the country’s economic progress over the years, reaching a 12.7-percent contribution to the nation’s gross domestic product in 2018. This continued growth has proven tourism’s direct linkages to various socio-economic development activities that have been helping improve our people’s quality of life,” Puyat emphasized.

Present at the launch held at Museo de Intramuros last September 27 are (from left) Intramuros Administration head Atty. Guiller Asido; DOT Assistant Secretary for Brand & Marketing Communications Howard Lance Uyking; Bohol First District Representative Cong. Edgardo Chatto; Tourism Development Planning Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. and Tourism Development Planning Assistant Secretary Roberto Alabado 3rd.
Photo Release

Since the enactment of Tourism Act in 2009, foreign arrivals have more than doubled, growing from 3 million in 2009 to 7.1 million individuals by the end of 2018. Domestic tourism expenditure also grew from P508.8 billion in 2009 to P3.2 trillion last year.

Sustainable tourism through comprehensive regulations

Signed into law on May 12, 2009 by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the Tourism Act was authored by Sen. Richard Gordon and 1st District of Bohol Rep. Edgardo Chatto.

Chatto mentioned that the creation of the law was aimed at espousing holistic and sustainable tourism that would guide all stakeholders in the industry.

“Tourism is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world that can bring in more jobs, more livelihood and more economic opportunities for the younger generation,” Chatto noted.

Gordon, meanwhile, talked about inclusivity of all sectors in promoting and managing the programs for the tourism industry. “Tourism is a country undertaking, lahat tayo dapat mag-participate—mayaman o mahirap dapat tayong mag-participate; mayaman o mahirap pwedeng kumita dyan, kaya dapat ipaglaban natin ‘yan,” he said.

He underscored the provisions of the law for infrastructure development, and identification of new tourism destinations or establishment of new tourism enterprise zones to enhance the income-generating capacities of the people.

People as the heart of the tourism campaign

With the launch of the Tourism Decade Campaign, DOT underscores the fruits of the law’s implementation by revealing the heartwarming stories of communities and personalities who have been positively transformed by tourism.

“This tourism campaign pays homage to the people, organizations and communities who have reaped the benefits of sustainable tourism as envisioned by the proponents of the law,” Puyat shared.

DOT recognizes the narratives of our people as the heart of our tourism industry, delivering inspiration, excitement and joy to both local and foreign visitors.

The campaign features the stories of Whang-od, the century-old Mambabatok of Kalinga; Rambo, the dog tour guide of Batad, Ifugao; the Deafinite Tour Guiding Service of Intramuros for its deaf-friendly tours; the Lake Pandin Women Rafters of San Pablo, Laguna; and Bobby Adrao, an advocate for whale shark protection in Donsol, Sorsogon.

Further down south, the campaign puts the spotlight on two Puerto Princesa locals: Angelo Cayabo, a former dishwasher who established dolphin-watching tours in Palawan; and Eva Valledor, founder of Binuatan Creations, a successful sustainable community livelihood program famous for their handwoven products. It also covered the experiences of the Loboc River Choir in Bohol; Laida Escoltura, a known home cook from General Luna, Siargao; and the indigenous T’boli people of South Cotabato who exemplify how cultural tourism can enhance Philippine living traditions.

As part of the Tourism Decade Campaign, video documentaries of the featured personalities and communities can be accessed online at

The photo exhibit at the Museo de Intramuros that will run from September 27 to December 29.
Photo Release

Another highlight is the unveiling of “Onward: The Philippines Tourism Decade Exhibition” at the former site of San Ignacio Church and an outdoor interactive installation in Plaza Roma, both located inside Intramuros’ historic walls.

The project is a testament to tourism’s impact on Filipino lives, that it is seen, felt, and experienced not just by those who are able to travel, but also by those whose lives have significantly improved since 2009. The exhibition is not only a celebration of these 10 victorious years, it is also an affirmation that we continue to take the right steps forward, onward.

The exhibition runs from September 27 to December 29 and admission is free. 

To add more flavor to the celebration, there were performances from local talents such as the UP Padayon Rondalla and soprano Stephanie Quintin from the UP College of Music. The T’boli dancers of Lake Sebu, poets, and other cultural acts provided further entertainment.

Even after 10 years since the Tourism Act’s implementation, DOT remains steadfast in its vision of developing a highly competitive and environmentally sustainable tourism industry that creates jobs and opportunities for Filipinos, bringing inclusive growth to all, and continues to be a major component in nation-building.


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