B&L was in Marco Polo Ortigas to attend a forum which was a
collaborative effort of the hotel and the Dept. of Tourism.
Undersecretary Bong Bengzon of the Dept. of Tourism or DOT acknowledged the
role of Marco Polo Ortigas in organizing this important event where the DOT
was able to discuss the agency's current thrust in promoting the country
and give an update on the current state of Philippine tourism.
The other points mentioned by Usec. Bengzon has to do with making
Philippine tourism more inclusive and sustainable. This means that benefits
from tourism must be scattered across a bigger area. To do this, there
should be more focus on emerging destinations and tourism must be developed
in the countryside. To achieve sustainability, the DOT must ensure that
tourism developmental efforts do not harm the environment and the natural
assets are preserved for future generations.
Usec. Bengzon explained that compared to the global average of 4% growth
and the growth rate of other Asian countries that are at 7 to 7 per cent,
our growth rate of 12.7 per cent is actually remarkable. Add to that the
fact that the Philippines is just about the only Asian country that has not
suffered a month-to-month decline in the last five years.
Usec. Bengzon stressed the need to continually communicate to the world
that the Philippines has magnificent destinations, and we need to ste up
our advertising and marketing efforts in key markets around the world.
The DOT official summarized the agency's performance indicators. For one,
it has developed masterplans for cruise tourism, medical tourism and
The Dept. of Tourism is now working on creating greater international
connectivity by organizing more familiarization tours for airline network
planners. The DOT will continue to participate in key aviation events.
Usec. Bengzon shared the news that Cebu is in the short list of host cities
for Routes Asia 2019 but there is still no word on the decision on this.
The Dept. of Tourism will continue to support charter operators and it is
now crafting a media plan to expand its product portfolio.