Freeman Cebu Business

With Cebu taking the lead: DOT gunning for higher global tourism ranking

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Tourism secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco called on Cebuano private sector stakeholders to take the lead in making the Philippines among the top global destinations in the world.

Frasco, the former Mayor of Liloan, Cebu, said that it is high time for the Philippines to work together, not just in reviving the tourism industry from the devastation of the pandemic, but to raise the level of the country’s global ranking as a destination.

According to Frasco, the Philippines ranks sixth in the ASEAN region and 75th in the world’s most visited country by tourists.

However, improving the country’s ranking cannot be achieved without the cooperation between the government and the private sector. She emphasized the crucial role of Cebu to lead in taking the challenge, saying “what Cebu starts, the rest of the country follows.”

Frasco who was the keynote speaker during the recently concluded “Explore Cebu” Tourism Summit as part of the Cebu Business Month (CBM 2022) events, presented her department’s detailed and comprehensive masterplan on how to hurdle the challenges of tourism, while aiming to raise the bar of tourism offering and experience in the Philippines, emphasizing on becoming a world-class player.

She also recognized the delicate role of the local government units (LGUs) as an important hand in realizing the Philippine’s aspirations in tourism, which she described as “shared tourism governance.”

The reason why, immediately after her formal appointment, she started the listening tours and inter-agency collaborations to make sure that plans and support programs will be aligned from the bottom-up.

Her administration will start the evolution of DOT going beyond its traditional portfolio, from merely a marketing arm to a multi-functional agency that affects growth and positive transformation.

Frasco expressed her confidence on the Cebuanos to champion the cause of strong collaboration with the government in promoting a multi-dimensional industry, not just the sight-seeing and destination aspects of tourism but also equal attention will be given to allied industries like arts and culture, culinary, supporting Filipino artisans, local brands (products), the rich Filipino traditions in weaving, among others.

There is also a need for LGUs, and the Philippine government to benchmark with other countries, like Thailand’s success in tourism, especially in taking pride of its culture and tradition and promoting its own brand.

As the DOT strives to make tourism as the Philippines’ key economic driver, Frasco is expecting Cebuanos to take the lead in making radical transformation in the tourism trade.


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