‘Culture of tourism’ at the grassroots

ASIDE from providing better roads that would easily connect tourists to the resorts, the Lapu-Lapu City Government is also intensifying the culture of tourism in the grassroots level, as more tourism-related businesses continue to enter Mactan Island.

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza said tourism programs have long been implemented, not only to make sure investors and tourists have a comfortable stay in their city, but for locals to also ride the growth of Mactan’s booming tourism sector.

Radaza said they are training the community to capacitate cottage industries connected with tourism such as the food and souvenir sectors.

“Lapu-Lapu City is now more on tourism. It is for this reason we are training our people to attend to the needs of this sector, both for the mainland (resorts) and for eco-tourism destinations,” she said.

Tourism stakeholders in Cebu have been pushing to propagate the culture of tourism to entice tourists to return.

The culture of tourism, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT), entails two things: understanding the culture of the traveler and to strive to serve his/her interests, needs and wants; and the traveler’s understanding of the culture.

The former requires continuous learning given the fact that each tourism market has distinct culture, while the latter requires preparation and coordination with the local community, tourism stakeholders and the LGU to showcase the Filipino brand of hospitality, provide them with best tourism facilities and services, and execute fairness towards tourists.

“The culture of tourism is everybody’s business. It is something already inherent in every Filipino but needs to be awakened. The warmth, hospitality and smiles of Filipinos are major lures for tourists and if complemented by right facilities and services, we will have one of the great tourism (products) to offer to the world,” said tourism advocate Robert Lim Joseph, in previous interviews.

Maintaining a clean and beautiful environment, maintaining and ensuring safety, peace and order, and by being honest, courteous and gracious when dealing with tourists are some of the many ways the culture of tourism can be showcased, said Joseph.

Mactan Island is Cebu’s major entry point.

Records of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority show that domestic traffic from January to September increased by eight percent to 5.19 million over last year’s 4.8 million.

International passengers, on the other hand, rose by 31 percent from 1.8 million to 2.3 million in the first nine months of 2017.
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