Frasco wants to develop less known tourism areas
CEBU CITY—Incoming Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco expressed her plans to “emulate and replicate” a successful tourism program in Cebu to help local governments develop less known tourism sites.
Frasco said in an interview last week that there are beautiful tourist destinations in the country that deserve equal attention, promotion, and assistance from the national government.
“Cebu has shown the benchmark for the effectiveness of tourism governance, including (its) Suroy-Suroy Sugbo (program). So this is something worth emulating and replicating throughout the country. We will study it closely in the hope of bringing attention to lesser-known tourist destinations in the Philippines,” she said.
Suroy-Suroy Sugbo, which means ”wandering in Cebu,” was started in 2005 by Frasco’s mother, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, to introduce lesser-known destinations.
Years later, the sites like those in Bantayan, Camotes, and southern Cebu have become popular for domestic and international visitors.
Under her watch, Frasco said there would be more collaboration with local government officials to see where the Department of Tourism (DOT) could come in and help these local sites.
“I am now offering the hand of collaboration to all tourism stakeholders, all local officials across the country for us to work together, to not only reclaim the Philippines’ standing at the global stage but exceed it,” she said.
“I hope that by building bridges of collaboration, we can generate boundless opportunities for livelihood, employment, and business that puts the success of every tourism stakeholder front and center of our agenda,” she added.
On Tuesday, June 21, Frasco attended a Grand Tourism Night in Cebu organized by the DOT in Central Visayas, allowing stakeholders to bring out their concerns in the industry.
Managers and resort operators from the regions, including travel agencies, attended the event held at the Cebu Capitol.
Those present during the event were the consul generals of China, South Korea, and Japan—three countries with the highest number of foreign visitors, and the honorary consuls of Belgium, Italy, Romania, and Spain.
Frasco said she would also focus on effective local government planning and implementation and shared local tourism governance by the public and private sectors.
She cited proper land use and planning to enhance local tourism sites and infrastructure to allow access to these destinations.
For Frasco, there should also be a change in the inalienable land classification of several islands, which become barriers to infrastructure and facility development for the tourism industry.
“The goal is to improve the overall tourism experience by both domestic and foreign tourists so that they not only enjoy the brand that is the Philippines, but fully immersed in and keeping in mind the product that is our beautiful country and the work of our people.”
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