Espina: Insights in Tourism Congress-A A +A
Monday, July 9, 2012
THE 17th Tourism Congress (starting as Tourism Forum in 1995) held on June 28 at the Cebu International Convention Center gathered a big assemblage of some 250 stakeholders and local government units (LGUs), 600 faculty and students; some 100 panelists, resource persons, sponsors and Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) officers, directors, past presidents and tourism team, yes, close to 1,000, who tackled basic issues in tourism. Here are some insights:
Gov. Gwen Garcia–The Province of Cebu shall continue its tourism development thrusts. Its new program with the CCCI, LGUs and academe, Turismo Sugbu, shall further develop basic services in the municipalities.
Department of Tourism (DOT) Assistant Secretary Domingo Ramon Enerio –The DOT national tourism plan is taking off, and the “More Fun in The Philippines” branding is getting international mileage. I hail the Turismo Sugbu, the first immersion program in the country, which creates tourism branding in the municipalities.
Bobby Joseph–I will initiate a Tourism Digital Video disc for tour guides to upscale marketing of Cebu. Since PEOPLE are our best assets, we should continue the inculcation of the culture of tourism.
Ed Nuque–Unfortunately, some directions of some schools militate against the values of honesty and discipline. The Commission on Higher Education should look into some practicum requirements of schools. Our academic learning should use partnership with the industry, especially in tourism.
Dr. Candelario Aytona –We monitor the course offerings of tourism-related courses, seeing to it that they consider the needs and expertise of the industry.
Jay Aldeguer–We need to explore Cebu’s tourist attractions with wider markets, and this includes countryside attractions.
Martin Xu of Cathay Pacific–In its 20th Year of serving Cebu, Cathay Pacific offers more routes and upgraded services with special amenities. We have an information mechanism to inform passengers of routes, fares and delayed/cancelled flights.
Chris Lebumfacil, Philippine Airlines– The airline upgraded facilities and better flight schedule management are thrusts this year. We explain delays or cancellations of flights.
Bobit Avila–The DOT could consider building bridges to connect Bohol and Cebu. This will facilitate tourism clustering with less travel time.
Dondi Joseph–The bottomline is infrastructure to make travel accessible and convenient. Tourism must be free of political color to facilitate implementation of basic services.
Patria Aurora Roa–Yes, to a certain extent, politics and bureaucracy are stumbling blocks in improving tourism services. Regional development should be a priority.
Nigel Paul Villarete–All concerns about inadequate airport facilities will be addressed with the long-range program of Mactan Cebu International Airport.
Consuls John Domingo/Moya Jackson–More tourists should come to see how beautiful Cebu and its people are. Let us have new attractions, like sports and eco adventures. But, yes, let’s improve the product.
Marget Villarica–We need the airlines to give more definite procedures in booking and information networking.
From the audience–Why can’t airlines inform passengers of delayed/cancelled flights? Passengers wait for hours and do not get information. Could airlines explain why promo fares are not that cheap after all with all the add-ons?
A foreigner from the audience–Why do some tourist attractions charge the foreigners higher fees than the locals?
From the audience–Let us continue the restoration of Colon (St., Cebu City). But, we need more police visibility in the place and more safety nets.
Ahmed Cuizon–Transportation accessibility is a tourism need. I agree we need affordable fares and well-informed and honest drivers and operators. (To be continued in my next article).
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 10, 2012.