AT LEAST 100 participants are expected to attend the forum on sustainable tourism Wednesday, September 27, organized by the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental to mark the World Tourism Day at the Capitol Social Hall in Bacolod City.
Cristine Mansinares, provincial supervising tourism operations officer, said the forum will cover topics on planning, development, management, and impact of sustainable tourism.
Mansinares said the activity will provide an opportunity for tourism stakeholders in the province to learn more about the sustainable approaches to tourism as an agent for development.
It further supports the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development adopted by the United Nations General Assembly this year which noted that tourism can contribute to all three dimensions of sustainable development like economic, social and environmental.
“Not only does the sector spearhead growth, it also improves the quality of people's lives. It can bolster environmental protection, champion diverse cultural heritage, and strengthen peace in the world,” she added.
During the forum, a panel of experts will share their knowledge, experiences, and success stories relevant to sustainable tourism.
Undersecretary Lisa Grace Bersales of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) will talk on the topic framework on measuring sustainable tourism while tourism consultant Chen Mencias will share on strategic tourism planning in sustainable development.
Ornithologist Godfrey Jakosalem of the Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc. will talk on nature and tourism while Sagay City Tourism officer Helen Arguelles will discuss community-led tourism enterprises.
Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation Inc. executive director Dave Albao will talk on the campaign of World Tourism Organization dubbed “Travel.Enjoy.Respect” which promotes sustainable tourism among travelers.
At least 100 participating-stakeholders from the academe, tourism officers and officials from local government units, hotel and restaurant owners, and farmers, among others, are joining the forum.
The activity is still part of the 17th Provincial Tourism Week celebration themed "Tourism for Sustainable Development." The eight-day event will run until September 29.