AN OFFICIAL of the Department of Tourism (DOT)-Cordillera Administrative Region emphasized quality experience as the key in tourism, as the town of La Trinidad in Benguet prepares for its tourism 2020-2024 plan.
"Quality experience is the key. Even if you have so many tourists at one time but they will not enjoy. Even if you have the most beautiful tourism attraction if they are going to be pack in one area," said DOT-Cordillera Officer-in-Charge Jovita Ganongan, who graced the town’s 4th La Trinidad Tourism Conference.
Ganongan also reiterated DOT's strong advocacy of sustainable tourism.
"Because in tourism, what we want now in tourism is to provide quality experience... Tourism destination managers, we control our products and destination. We are not just looking at the numbers, of tourists," she said.
Ganongan added that since the valley will be looking to the tourism development plan, carrying capacity should be given consideration and that La Trinidad should consider factors such as parking spaces, hotels and roads.
She also stressed the need to balance economic growth, interest of environmental preservation and the social benefit of the community.
"La Trinidad has now evolved as a popular tourism destination in the Cordillera that continues to draw local and foreign visitors. This increasing trend in tourist arrivals is an opportunity and the benefits to be derived from tourism should be enjoyed by local community," Ganongan said.
She also said that tourism awareness in the community is important as they are part of the whole planning and promotion of the area.
With the theme "Fostering tourism conscious community," La Trinidad is celebrating the tourism week from May 21 to 26.
Mayor Romeo Salda said tourism is now emerging as the second economic industry of the town.
Among the strongest pillars of La Trinidad's economic growth are festivals, such as the coffee festival, strawberry festival and farm tours.
"Tourism is now our second industry. The first is the agriculture industry in which we have the vegetable trading post, strawberry farm, and cutflowers. We are now establishing tourism that is why we have our tourism building for all tourists to be registered," Salda said.
He said eight barangays -- Lubas, Tawang, Alno, Poblacion, Shilan, Betag, Bahong, and Beckel -- have already submitted their tourism plans.