Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Stakeholders in tourism industry urged to work with govt to ensure survival

SUBIC BAY FREE PORT—A group of travel agencies over the weekend encouraged all stakeholders in the local tourism industry to work hand in hand with the government, through the Department of Tourism (DOT), in ensuring the survival of the industry amid the imminent global economic crisis.

Players in the tourism industry are now actively looking for ways to overcome the creeping economic slowdown, Dr. Robert Lim Joseph, chair emeritus of the National Association of Independent Travel Agencies (Naitas), said.

Joseph said stakeholders should rally around Tourism Secretary Ace Durano because the local tourism industry might face a sink-or-swim situation.

He said this is the time for patriotism and to first work for the interest of the country, and not to rock the boat while in the midst of an international financial storm that has started to roil the tourism business here and abroad.

Durano, according to Joseph, has proven himself a champion of the local tourism industry and can be trusted to fight for the interest of the stakeholders, which includes the transportation companies, bars, resorts, hotels, malls and restaurants, among others.

He disclosed that there are plans to call a tourism summit of all stakeholders that will be presided over by Durano, which Joseph said will be given all-out support by the stakeholders.

“Unity under the government through the DOT is the pressing requirement of the times,” Joseph said. “Politics and narrow personal interests should be set aside for the moment.”

He said tourism stakeholders in other countries have started to adopt measures to weather the global crisis and it is always the first good step to rally around the flag.

Joseph said what the stakeholders can do is to help support the direction the industry must take through the tourism summit, where everybody can suggest specific, concrete and practical measures that should be adopted.

The government, through the DOT, can hold the baton and make sure there is no discordant note, because steps must be coordinated and synchronized to succeed. Written by Claudeth Mocon / Business Mirror Correspondent

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