THE 1st North Philippines Tourism Forum and Career Fair highlights the rise of Cordillera region as meeting, incentive travel, convention and exhibition career hub for tourism.
Department of Tourism (DOT)-Cordillera director Marie Venus Tan emphasized the need to strengthen the human resource base for tourism particularly in the hotel and restaurants, cruise, airlines and aviation, and the travel and tours industry not only in Cordillera but also Ilocos, Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon regions.
"The economic social environmental impact of tourism is so significant and vital to create sustainable jobs and improve the quality of life in North Philippines."
The Tourism department believes that to have a strong business foundation, employers must look for quality employees having excellent customer service skills.
Tan explained "Tourism is considered to be the most inclusive industry today, tourism plays a dominant role and is still one of the major contributors to the Philippine economy".
Forum guest speaker Tourism Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson Frederick Allegre pointed out that the countries tourism growth indicators are in the uptrend based on the inbound visitor traffic from July of 2017 reaching 3.92 million or an 11% increase from the 3.53 million it registered from the same period of last year.
"On the other hand, visitor receipts totaled 179.86 billion or an increase of 21 pe compared to the 148.56 billion in the same period of last year", said the tourism Spokesperson.
It also attributed the increase due to successful marketing initiatives in attracting high spenders, and the aggressive collaboration between private sector and local governments to produce diversification and destination development sites to which there are more sites to visit giving tourists more things to do.
But despite the said initiatives Baguio City Congressman Mark Go noted the small budget allocation by government to the tourism department which he plans to increase for the coming budget deliberations for next year.
"The tourism industry must be supported since this is the end all and be all in terms of economy. Although they only have a 3 billion budget for this year, we encourage the department to double its request for budget next year to support the various programs of tourism particularly in the Northern Philippines.”
Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on October 17, 2017.
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