“It’s More Fun in the Philippines”
Lately, the Department of Tourism embarked a new slogan: “It’s More Fun in the Philippines.” The tagline became viral online. In fact, many online enthusiasts have made their own version of “It’s More In the Philippines.”
The DOT targets an increased of tourist arrivals in the country this year. But we should not forget some basic principles on tourism before we gear up for a more grandeur objective.
One DOT official once said: “The tourism industry of the Philippines is largely dependent on natural resources and, if these natural resources are destroyed, the tourism industry will also suffer. We must ensure the preservation and rehabilitation of forests, beaches and water sources because when these will be damaged, tourism in these areas and the livelihood of communities will ultimately suffer.”
The public sector has influence in tourism business. Public bodies influence tourism sector either directly, through various capacities, which include: provision of infrastructure, information services and creation of tourist attractions and facilities, or indirectly, which include: provision of favorable economic climate, establishment of tourism policies within which the commercial sector of tourism industry can operate successfully, coordinating, promotional and regulatory role in tourism provision, and conservation of the physical and socio-cultural resources that attract tourists to destination.
The government, on the other hand, must use demand and revenue management in order to influence demand in the industry by marketing and promotion, information provision and network development, pricing, controlling access to the destination, safety and security. Supply and cost management are operated by environmental control, building regulations, market regulations, market research and planning, taxation, ownership, education and training and investment incentives.
We understand that the rise of tourism market in our country will also an increase of public participation in every step of the way. As basic as ensuring protection of foreign visitors is not a responsibility of the police but also by the hosts, the Filipino nationals.
Tourism is a broad industry. It involves almost every aspect of business and every government policy.
We haven’t really attained the full potential of our tourism capabilities. Still, there are many tourist spots that are in need of either reconstruction or remodeling. There are even issues of lack of decent comfort rooms in many public areas. This is only one of the many issues that the public sector must work hand in hand with the government as to ensure convenience and comfort to our visitors.
Lastly, we urge the DOT that not only should it promote responsible tourism zeroing in the preservation of the country’s natural resources, it should also continue to rediscover new tourism attractions in our islands.
It’s really more fun in the Philippines when we continue to rediscover new places of interest.