Tourism industry moves to prevent repeat of Boracay closure fiasco
With the closure of Boracay only two days away, local tourism stakeholders are coming together to prevent a repeat of the environmental breakdown — and the abrupt decision to close the island for a six—month cleanup — in other tourism destinations around the country.
This developed as the private sector made available as many as 4,000 jobs in different fields for those who will be displaced with the closure of internationally renowned resort destination on Thursday.
“One Boracay” — which has the Tourism Congress of the Philippines (TCP), Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) and the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association (HSMA) as key members along with local tourism stakeholders of the island — is currently in touch with their counterparts at other prime tourism destinations in the country.
“There will be groups like the one we have for Boracay in other destinations that are under intense scrutiny or those that are being threatened to be closed by the government,” TCP president Jose Clemente III said while adding that all tourism stakeholders in the country are now more united than before.
“We have One Boracay now,” he added. “There will be One Bohol, One Puerto Galera, and One Palawan very soon.”
For her part, PTAA president Marlene Dado Jante said they will exert efforts to avoid having other destinations suffer the same fate as Boracay.
“We want the government, in the future, to first consult with all stakeholders and incorporate our ideas before executing any actions that will affect tourism destinations and the industry itself on multiple levels,” she said.
“The government should understand that we are the ones on the ground and that we have a clear understanding on how the industry works,” Jante added.
Both Clemente and Jante said that, had government given more time before shutting down Boracay, all stakeholders would have been better prepared during its six month closure.
One Boracay does not want a repeat of the confusion surrounding the Boracay closure order, due partly to the haste at which the government wants to implement the cleanup of the island.
The TCP, created under Republic Act 9593 or more commonly known as the Tourism Act of 2009, is mandated to act as the private sector consultative body to assist the government in the development, implementation, and coordination of Philippine tourism policy.
The PTAA is the biggest grouping of tourism stakeholders in the country and has been a leading partner of the government in the promotion and development of Philippine tourism while the HSMA seeks to advance sustainable revenue growth for the hotels and resorts industry and contribute to the robust growth of Philippine tourism.
The job openings One Boracay is offering to the displaced workers of the island’s resort industry are spread across key cities across the country including Metro Manila, Bohol and Palawan.
According to Jante, they will also request their more than 600 members nationwide to offer at least two job openings, even temporary, to those who will become unemployed due to Boracay’s closure.
“This will be on top, on what we, as One Boracay is offering,” she said. “We want those workers to remain gainfully employed and capable of providing for their families until Boracay reopens.”
Next month, members of One Boracay will meet to map out a marketing plan for the reopening of Boracay including multiple promos for November onwards.
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