‘Planning is key in eco-tourism’ | Inquirer News

‘Planning is key in eco-tourism’

/ 01:09 AM June 19, 2011

Eco-tourism can bring in more tourists and improve the quality of life in rural communities but it has to be planned to avoid disrupting local cultures and the environment, according to Antonio D. Kalaw Jr., president of the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP).

Kalaw urged tourism planners from 17 Asian countries participating in a trainors’ course to involve local stakeholders in formulating development strategies for eco-tourism and creating eco-tourism products.

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“Tourism, or eco-tourism in particular, can help boost local economic development through a strategic stakeholder partnership that includes local governments, private entities and civil society organizations,” Kalaw said.

The DAP president spoke before 24 participants of an intensive two-week course on planning and management of eco-tourism sponsored by the Asian Productivity Organization (APO).

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Kalaw said that sustainable development of tourism provides an alternative approach to diversifying the economic base of local communities given the right infrastructure and a supportive environment.

“However, these are increasingly being continuously threatened by many factors like the increasing requirements of a growing population, pollution, resource degradation and unsustainable resource management, among others, which we must address,” he said.

Implementors of the two-week course are DAP, International School of Sustainable Tourism and Department of Tourism. The Colombo Plan secretariat is cosponsor. The course until is being conducted until June 24 on the ISST main campus at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

Participants are from Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Iran, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.

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TAGS: Development Academy of the Philippines, Eco-tourism, environment, Planning
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