Travel industry welcomes ad exec’s appointment
The private sector-led Tourism Congress welcomed Ramon Reyes Jimenez’s appointment, saying his expertise in marketing and advertising would get things moving in the tourism industry.
Jaime Cura, external vice president of the Tourism Congress, told the Inquirer that Jimenez’s experience in advertising and marketing would help the country come up with an “effective and globally competitive” promotion program.
“There is reason to hope that our new DoT (Department of Tourism) chief will be able to get certain important things moving all the way,” Cura said.
“We, in the private sector offer him our cooperation to improve the competitiveness and long-term growth of the country’s tourism.” Cura added.
Some members of the Tourism Congress had called for the replacement of Jimenez’s predecessor, Alberto Lim, stressing the need for a manager who could unify the industry.
Members of the congress, created by law to assist the tourism secretary in crafting policies and providing directions, claimed Lim snubbed the group and disregarded its “well-meaning” recommendations.
Lim denied the accusations, saying he just lacked “charisma” that others were looking for in a tourism secretary.
Cura said Jimenez would “have his hands full” implementing the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) initiated by Lim.
“There is a draft of the plan but it still needs to be presented to the public for widespread consultations so stakeholders can make inputs to the plan… and help implement it,” Cura said.
He said the group would work closely with Jimenez in bringing about reforms.
This would include improving infrastructure and accommodations, like hotels and resorts, and ensuring that the transportation system was in good shape to meet the needs of the global tourism market “and service them competitively,” Cura said.
Interviewed on Radyo Inquirer 990AM, Cura said: “We place ourselves at the disposal of the new secretary. The Tourism Congress will be at his beck and call whenever he thinks he should be consulting with us on policy matters.”
The Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) also pledged to support Jimenez, particularly in the implementation of the NTDP.
Problems to be faced
PTAA president Aileen Clemente said Jimenez “must have clear directions and goals, most of which is embodied in the Tourism Act.”
“More than branding and marketing, there are so many issues that plague the industry,” she said.
She enumerated some key areas which Jimenez should focus on. These included the removal of the European Union’s ban on the entry of local carriers and the raising of the country’s status downgraded by the US Federal Aviation Administration.
Clemente also said Jimenez should work on reducing the hurdles in the procurement of visas by foreign nationals, as well as review the taxation scheme on airlines to avoid double taxation. With reports from Jocelyn R. Uy, Abigail L. Ho and Dona Dominguez
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