Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Minister of Tourism of the Philippines
Puyat shared the DOT tourism programs, the tourism response and revival plan (TRRP) and the reformulated national tourism development plan for 2020-2022.
Tourism secretary Berna Romulo Puyat described the Philippines’ national policy for developing sustainable tourism and responding to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic ahead of the Japanese travel market during the month’s opening 2nd online travel market of the Japan Association of Travel Agencies (JATA).
The head of tourism led the country’s presentation on October 27, 2021 and was one of the panelists for the International Tourism Forum (ITF) which also included luminaries from the Japanese travel industry like Milton Morinaga, chairman of the board of administration of the Guam Tourist Bureau, and Eijiro Yamakita, President and CEO of the Japan Travel Bureau.
The panelists also outlined their respective policies on the topic of the Osaka event: “How to create a better tourism value chain” and the environment for consumers as well as the travel industry.
Puyat shared the DOT tourism programs, the tourism response and recovery plan (TRRP) and the reformulated national tourism development plan for 2020-2022.
Panelists praised DOT’s efforts to prioritize vaccination of frontline tourists. “We need to take a balanced approach, taking into account economic viability, job creation and environmental sustainability”, said Puyat.
She said the pandemic has given the tourism industry an opportunity to recalibrate itself to be more responsible, accountable, inclusive and sustainable. She also touted the Filipino service mark, saying, “We are a nation committed to welcoming our customers with a smile and offering our best products and services.”
DOT officials backed up his comments with the country’s presentation, a two-and-a-half-hour webinar exclusively watched by JATA member agents. In his opening speech, Puyat confirmed the Philippines’ commitment to meet international health and safety standards recognized by international tourism bodies and to continue upgrading existing tourism products. Before the pandemic, Japan was the Philippines’ fourth largest tourist market.
“We are convinced that we can count on the support of JATA so that we can add more years to our long and mutually beneficial relationship”, said Puyat.
Maria Anthonette C. Velasco Allones, Director General of the Tourism Promotion Office, launched the “More fun awaits you” campaign, communicating the exciting destinations and stories the DOT has prepared for travelers. Assistant secretary Christophe V. Morales provided an update on the destinations chosen by Japanese travelers, emphasizing nature tourism, marine tourism, adventure tourism, and sun and beach tourism.
This was complemented by a presentation on DOT initiatives to recalibrate national tourism products for the international market. Guiller B. Asido, chairman of the working group on the development of national tourism products and markets and simultaneous administrator of the administration of Intramuros, presented the national tourism circuits and the objective of the DOT for the development of high-value travel products, low density and low impact. Assistant secretary Verna C. Buensuceso introduces community food tourism products and experiences across the country.
From the private sector, Hiroki Iwai, Chroma Hospitality Sales Director representing the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association, covered the topic of hospitality industry initiatives to keep travelers safe. Marisa Nallana of the Philippine Association of Convention Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers Inc. (PACEOS) showcased TPB’s incentive programs for the MICE industry (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) while briefly briefing viewers on developments in the industry MICE.
Puyat also called on JATA leaders to seek cooperation and active participation in DOT Team Japan projects. She also briefed the virtual audience on Boracay’s rehabilitation programs. JATA awarded Puyat the Excellent Partner Award for the role of DOT in the rehabilitation of the island on the occasion of JATA Tourism Expo Japan 2019.
The 2nd JATA Online Travel Mart will take place from October 17 to November 30, 2021.