By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
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.
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.
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.
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.