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MANILA — The Department of Tourism (DOT) and Go Negosyo on Monday (May 13) joined hands once again for the Tourism Summit 2024, gathering 200 of the sector’s key personalities, as well as business leaders from various industries, to discuss opportunities, emerging market trends, and innovative approaches in the tourism sector.

The highlight of the Summit is the presentation of the Inspiring Tourism Entrepreneurs Awards, recognizing outstanding Filipino enterprises with significant contributions to the development of the country’s tourism landscape, and special citation for digital content creators and social media influencers for their role in promoting the country’s heritage, culture, cuisine, and destinations.


Tourism for all

As the country’s tourism shows encouraging results and recovery, from 5.45 million inbound visitors in 2023 to 2 million for the first four months of 2024, accompanying visible increase in economic activities and commerce across tourist destinations, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. said that it is crucial that a thriving tourism industry directly benefits the Filipino people.

In his speech read by Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco during the Tourism Summit 2024, the President said “these numbers pose a challenge for us to translate these gains into tangible benefits—benefits for our people, our communities and our economy.”

It is equally important to remember that, in everything we do, we must also keep in mind the need to protect our environment, to care for all people, and to utilize our resources with great prudence,” the Tourism Chief quoted President Marcos, Jr., who referred to entrepreneurs as “promoters, advocates, and protectors of our beautiful country”, and whose active participation matter.

“We must make every tourist visit memorable, unique, and worthwhile. This he attributes to working on “improving the products, services and experiences offered by micro, small and medium enterprises”, to “developing potential, and replicating the best practices,” the President added.


Tackling the Philippine Tourism Agenda

The Tourism Chief led the opening salvo of a series of panel discussions, formally commencing this year’s Go Negosyo’s Tourism Summit at the Ayala Malls by the Bay.

Presenting the Philippine Tourism Agenda, Secretary Frasco prefaced her talk with the emerging trends prevailing in the ASEAN tourism where the Philippines occupies a prominent role as the lead country coordinator in crafting the post-2025 strategic tourism plan for the ASEAN nations.

According to her, the top trends that drive the development of tourism within the countries in ASEAN include “sustainable tourism, the development of culture and heritage, tourism circuits, digitalization of courses in our traditional tourism offerings, and also to include gastronomy tourism, as well as health and wellness tourism,” the Tourism Chief cited an ASEAN sanctioned survey.

Secretary Frasco emphasized how the Administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. has put quality tourism front and center, prioritizing more meaningful connections and purpose-driven travel.

“That is why under the Marcos administration, the focus has been to spread tourism development to as many destinations as possible. And of course, while we are also focused on bringing in the warm bodies, we are also trying to ensure that we offer quality tourism services so that the tourists that come here stay, spend more, and come back again and again,” she added.

The Tourism Chief also breezed through other trends in ASEAN including wellness tourism and gastronomy.

Zeroing on gastronomy, Secretary Frasco mentioned the Philippine Experience Heritage Culture and Arts Caravan, identified as a priority tourism program under the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP 2023-2028), the country’s tourism roadmap.

We are very pleased to announce that to bring the Filipino food at the forefront of global consciousness, the Philippines is hosting the very first United Nations Tourism Forum for Asia-Pacific wherein we will be hosting tourism ministers from all over the world as well as highlighting the work of our world-renowned chefs and our regional chefs to really make the case for Filipino food to be at the forefront of Filipino tourism and the global preference of our travelers,” the Tourism Chief mentioned.


The Philippine Tourism Strategy

Speaking from her experience as a former local chief executive of Liloan in Cebu, the Tourism Chief talked about her developmental understanding on tourism.

Secretary Frasco likewise made a rundown of all DOT-led initiatives in improving the country’s tourism competitiveness, from its partnership with the Department of Information Communications Technology to improve the internet connectivity in 94 tourism destinations in the country, to its flagship project, the tourist rest areas across tourist destinations in the Philippines.

In addition to that, Secretary Frasco announced that the DOT will soon unveil at least five tourist first aid centers that will be manned by the Department of Health with emergency medical facilities to address quick response emergencies of tourists visiting far-flung tourist destinations.

Meanwhile, on the digital side, the Tourism Chief mentioned the enhanced Philippines travel app that will give information on all our destinations and experiences in the country and the very first Tourist Assistance Call Center, a number that tourists can call 151-TOUR (151-8687) that can give you information about destinations, and accredited tourism enterprises.

According to Secretary Frasco, all these innovations intend to “confront the challenges of Philippine tourism.” She said, tourism, is first and foremost, about spreading its benefits nationwide and helping MSMEs provide more income and employment to our fellow Filipinos.

“At the end of the day, the end all and be all of all the work that both the government and the private sector is doing is really to provide livelihood and employment to our fellow Filipinos. At the moment, the tourism industry employs over 5.35 million Filipinos nationwide and tourism contributes over 6.2 percent to our GDP. There is so much more opportunity to be had,” she concluded.


The Filipino brand of hospitality

I think I can say without fear of contradiction that the Filipinos brand of hospitality and the manner in which we welcome every guest as our family is unsurpassed by any other nation in the world,” Secretary Frasco went on to say about what there is to love in the Philippines.

Citing the partnership between the DOT and the private sector, both the national and local government, she said challenge remains in spreading the economic benefit of tourism to all the areas of the country.

Secretary Frasco said, the DOT will continue to try to keep the Philippines at the forefront of the global consciousness by our participation in international expositions.


Let’s GO, Love The Philippines

Taking inspiration from this year’s Inspiring Tourism Entrepreneur Award, Secretary Frasco called on everyone to build new partnerships, mentorships, collaboration and exchanges. “Let us come together to share our stories, our successes, and our strategies for the future. Let us continue to foster a world-class tourism industry that not only contributes to our economic growth but also amplifies the unique cultural heritage of the Philippines,” she quipped, hoping for the Summit to be a “cornerstone for future success.”

In response, Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion said that tourism can be a major contributor to the country’s rise to middle-income status. “The Philippines already has so much to offer in terms of tourist attractions, friendly people, delicious cuisine, and a rich culture,” he said.

Meanwhile, Secretary Frasco joined Concepcion and First Lady Louise Araneta Marcos in presenting this year’s Inspiring Tourism Entrepreneur Awards to entrepreneurs from accommodations and tour services, food and retail, sustainable ecotourism, and unique attractions.



Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco speaks at Go Negosyo Tourism Summit 2024. She joins the esteemed company of travel and tourism industry leaders comprised of Michelle Ho, General Manager of Klook Philippines and Thailand; Captain Stanley Ng, President & Chief Operating Officer Philippine Airlines; and Jeff Navarro, Country Manager, Visa Philippines.

Leading this year’s Go Negosyo Tourism Summit 2024, Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco, together with the non-profit organization founder Joey Concepcion and First Lady Louise Araneta Marcos presented Inspiring Tourism Entrepreneur Awards at the Ayala Malls Manila Bay in Paranaque City to entrepreneurs from accommodations and tour services, food and retail, sustainable ecotourism, and unique attractions

Department of Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco joins Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion and guest of honor First Lady Louise Araneta Marcos in the Tourism Summit 2024, gathering some 200 of the sector’s key stakeholders, enablers, social media strategists, as well as business leaders from various industries, to discuss opportunities, emerging market trends, and innovative approaches in the tourism sector.

Published:May 15, 2024

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