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DOT urges MSMEs to invest in tourism

DOT urges MSMEs to invest in tourism

By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are engaged in tourism-related business to actively help attract international investors to the country.

This is the consensus arrived at by some 300 participants of the first Invest Tourism Philippines forum titled, “The Next Big Thing in Asia,” hosted by the Department of Tourism (DOT) at the Diamond Hotel recently.

The forum sought to empower MSMEs amidst technological advances with insights of local investors, businessmen, and representatives of various government agencies.

The technological advances in hotel services and innovation advocated by MSMEs such as Airbnbs, inns, homestays, boutique hotels and other tourist services were also discussed.

DOT Undersecretary for Tourism Regulation, Coordination and Resource Generation (TRCRG) Alma Rita Jimenez noted the impact of global travel and tourism, increasing international visitor arrivals, encouraging foreign investors to do business in the Philippines.

“You’ll have the confidence that when you put your resources in our shores, and that you can park your funds with us for a long term because it will give you steady and stable returns,” Jimenez said.

Dr. Aekapol Chongvilaivan from the Asian Development Bank provided an overview of the current financial status of the Philippines, dubbing the country as a “rising star in Asia” due to the rapid growth of its investment-driven economy.

Chongvilaivan said tourism should serve as a major economic engine, with emphasis on fiscal management, infrastructure development and unemployment.

Plenary sessions participated in by representatives from government and private sectors addressed issues confronting the tourism industry, and encouraged multilateral partnership and community involvement to achieve collective growth.

It was also stressed that Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-based innovation is imperative in order to enhance connectivity, and to monitor customer feedbacks, as well as enhance product endorsement and branding.

The panel also tackled the processes of getting financial assistance, of collaterals being hindrances for MSMEs in getting loans, of facilities and programs giving local businesses access to information and business mentors, of partnerships, and community-wide development.

Alma Rita Jimenez, Asian Development Bank, Department of Tourism, Diamond Hotel, DOT urges MSMEs to invest in tourism, Information and Communication Technology, tourism industry

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