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Lack of flights, accessibility to tourist spots raised in Frasco’s listening tours

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 03:30 PM July 22, 2022
FILE PHOTO The Department of Tourism said among the issues raised during the listening tour were about the accessibility of landlocked tourism destinations, lack of flights, airports and roads, difficulties in hiring of regional personnel, and other administrative barriers.

FILE PHOTO The Department of Tourism said among the issues raised during the listening tour were about the accessibility of landlocked tourism destinations, lack of flights, airports and roads, difficulties in hiring of regional personnel, and other administrative barriers. INQUIRER PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

MANILA, Philippines — Challenges in the tourism industry such as lack of flights and accessibility of landlocked tourism destinations were raised during the first leg of Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco’s “Listening Tours” in Luzon.

In a statement on Friday, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said Frasco has completed the first leg of her “listening tours” when she travelled on Thursday to Pampanga to hold dialogues with all regional directors and tourism stakeholders in the Luzon region.

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DOT said among the issues raised during the discussions were about the accessibility of landlocked tourism destinations, lack of flights, airports and roads, difficulties in hiring of regional personnel, and other administrative barriers.

DOT said Frasco has assured regional directors and tourism stakeholders in Luzon that these issues “will be deliberated” as she will also “provide guidance” to them.

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“Certainly, these are matters that we note with serious consideration, with the intention to extend better assistance from the central office to your regional offices recognizing that it’s simply impossible for us to succeed as a Department, without the help, the input, and the success of our individual regions,” Frasco said, as quoted by the DOT.

“Recognizing that the success of each region will also spell the success of our country in general,” she added.

DOT said Frasco address the heads of the department’s offices in regions Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa and Bicol.

“I had conveyed my intention to extend my hand of collaboration to all of our regions across the country in order to be able to fully exercise the mandate of the Department of Tourism, whose efforts need not only be concentrated in areas near the Central Office but most importantly, in the farthest areas,” the DOT chief said.

“[This is] to allow the expansion of economic and livelihood opportunities for LGUs across the country, as this has been the clear marching orders of President Bongbong Marcos—to let our fellow Filipinos feel the benefits of countryside development,” she added.

Frasco earlier said she will conduct “listening tours” to consult with regional tourism offices about ways to repair and support the tourism industry’s recovery. to consult with regional tourism offices about ways to repair and support the tourism industry’s recovery.

Regional directors who participated in the tour expressed their appreciation for the initiative.

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DOT CAR Regional Director Jovita Ganongan said that having dialogues with national and regional offices will lead to the advancement of the tourism industry as an “economic driver.”

“We appreciate this effort as it opens the communication line between sub-national and national, thus will lead to more cooperation, coordination, collaboration and support towards the advancement of tourism as an economic driver,” Ganongan said in the statement.

DOT Central Luzon Regional Director Carolina Uy and Bicol Region Regional Director Herbie Aguas also expressed gratitude, they felt were “heard and acknowledged’ with the initiative.

“To be heard, acknowledged and [to] be felt by our tourism chief is an honor and privilege which gives us regional offices a sense of assurance for a promising road towards tourism recovery,” Uy said.

“During our first meeting at the Central Office, I wanted to clap my hands when you said that you are a listening secretary–because that’s what we need right now. It’s really a good thing that whatever the dilemma is on the ground, it can be addressed right away,” Aguas said.

Further, Luzon International Premier Airport Development Corporation Representative Noel Manangkil said that the “plans are grounded on the operational implementing level” and there will be a “sense of participation” in the said strategies that the government will craft.

Meeting with Luzon stakeholders

In a separate event, Frasco also met with representatives of the following associations and organizations: Subic-Clark Alliance for Development (SCAD); Luzon International Premier Airport Development (LIPAD) Corporation; Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP); Clark Development Corporation (CDC); Pampanga Agents Travel Society (PATS); Hotels and Restaurants Association in Pampanga (HARP); Central Luzon Farm Tourism Association; Accredited Guides Association of Pampanga (AGAP); and Pampanga Bike Adventure Tour.

DOT said the participants were encouraged to voice out their concerns and suggestions for their respective sectors, which revolve around the request for additional government support and increased inclusivity in terms of promotions, trainings, and harmonization of accreditation standarts for the industry.

Frasco has given her directive to the Regional Offices to coordinate with the associations, and to ensure that measures and appropriate timelines will be deviced to provide the needed support of the stakeholders, DOT said.

The agency said the easier renewal process for DOT accreditation was also among Frasco’s immediate directives.

The DOT said Frasco has instructed the Regional Offices to waive the immediate submission of certain documentary requirements provided that they sign a Sworn Statement of Undertaking that they agree to submit the lacking documents at a later time and to shoulder the cost of the notarization of this undertaking.

DOT said Frasco capped her back-to-back meetings with DOT regional directors and tourism stakeholders in Luzon by conducting an inspection of the Clark International Airport. — With Iliana Padigos, INQUIRER.net intern

JMS

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TAGS: Christina Frasco, Clark International Airport (CRK), Department of Tourism, listening tours
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