Puerto Princesa focuses on community-based tourism
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan, Philippines — The hospitality sector here are focusing on community-based sustainable tourism (CBST) to drive the city’s economic recovery.
A three-day trade fair showcasing community-based tourist destinations launched at the Robinsons Mall Palawan on Friday intends to show that the city’s tourism industry is on its way back to recovery, after being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) which hit in December 2021, said City Tourism Officer Demetrio Alvior Jr.
These sites are “survivors in the worst chapter of our lives,” Alvior said, adding: “Due to global pandemic and annual calamity, these experiences made you strong and much stronger than before, that’s why we believe that this is now the right time to look forward and establish momentum for a better tomorrow.”
Councilor Patrick Alex Hagedorn, chair of the city council’s committee on tourism, said they would need to focus on the recovery of CBST.
“In Puerto Princesa alone, we lost P5.5 million annually from potential tourist receipts and 9,000 plus tourism jobs,” Alvior added.
Alvior also stressed that while the opening of the city’s tourism month was focused on CBST, the celebration that was put on hold in the last two years due to health and travel restrictions is intended for the recovery of the entire tourism sector to its prepandemic status.
He noted that the steady rise of tourist arrivals and the increasing number of flights and accommodation bookings in the city were signs they were on their way to recovery.
Alvior said the city has already recorded 120,000 tourist arrivals since the start of this year, or an average of 15,000 monthly visitors.
Vice Mayor Ma. Nancy Socrates said the tourism month’s theme of “Rethinking Tourism” is timely and shows hope for the recovery of the tourism sector.
“Let’s rethink tourism, go back to old ways in terms of promotion, marketing and other strategies to attract tourists and customers because some of the things we are doing now might no longer be effective,” Socrates said.
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