With the easing of global pandemic restrictions, it is high time for the Philippine travel and tourism industry to get a jumpstart. That is why on Thursday, September 29, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. (PBBM) met with the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) Tourism Sector to shore up plans to develop a globally competitive Philippine tourism industry and support the millions of Filipinos employed in the trade.
PBBM opened the meeting, followed by a few remarks from PSAC strategic convenor and Aboitiz Group President and CEO Sabin Aboitiz, who joined via virtual call. The floor was then handed over to PSAC Tourism Sector Lead and Robinsons Land Corporation CEO Frederick Go who presented their recommendations to promote and strengthen the tourism industry.
The quick wins and strategic recommendations follow a five-step road map – (1) increase international visitation; (2) strengthen domestic tourism; (3) promote tourism investments; (4) build tourism infrastructure; and (5) improve the national brand and image of the country by correcting false perceptions and promoting our numerous true qualities. These would lay the foundation for long-term tourism and economic development nationwide, making the Philippines the ideal tourist destination — home to warm and friendly Filipinos, a rich and vibrant culture and cuisine, and many of the world’s most stunningly beautiful islands and beaches.
PBBM felt the full support and received substantial input from several PSAC Tourism Sector members — Philippine Retailers Association Vice Chairman for International Relations Roberto Claudio Sr; Filinvest Development Corporation President and CEO Josephine Gotianun-Yap; Hertz Philippines CEO Rene Limcaoco; LT Group Vice Chairman and COO Lucio C. Tan III; PSAC Secretariat Head and Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. (AEV) Chief of Staff Gie Polanco; and PSAC Communications Lead and AEV First Vice President of Reputation Management Ginggay Hontiveros-Malvar.
Robinsons Land Corporation Business Development Officer Leslie Vanessa Lim was also in the meeting together with Presidential Management Staff Secretary Zenaida Angping, Department of Tourism (DOT) Undersecretary Shalihmar Tamano, DOT Undersecretary Shereen Gail Yu-Pamintuan and Department of Foreign Affairs – Foreign Service Officer Maria Louella Duarte.
The meeting ended on a positive note as PBBM accepted all the recommendations and assigned government agencies to begin coordination and implementation. These mavericks of industry leveraged their expertise and experiences in service of the Philippine tourism industry and those it supports. With no lack of natural and cultural wonders nor want of a more hospitable people, the recommendations focused on promoting the unique beauty the Philippines has been blessed with. All Filipinos know this, PSAC members and PBBM included, now it is time to invite the rest of the world to discover it for themselves.
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