MANILA — As tourism becomes more inclusive, the Department of Tourism (DOT) is slowly building up on allowing communities, especially the poor ones, to directly benefit from tourism.
“When we look at the impact of tourism, the usual way is to look at head count (tourist arrivals) and receipts,” DOT Undersecretary for Tourism Development Bengzon told reporters in a press conference.
He said that although numbers were a huge factor to tourism program’s success, another aspect to look at was making sure communities had enough jobs, income and revenue generation as well.
“As we promote more destinations, we expect more communities to benefit from them,” Bengzon said.
“We know that not all municipalities can be tourist destinations that’s why we look at the emerging role of what we refer to as supplier communities,” he added.
Bengzon said that supplier communities are communities that may not be necessarily visited but can provide an important role in supplying products or a source of manpower such as local tour guides or handicraft makers.
This is where The One-Step Project comes in, a convergence program between the DOT and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) that seeks to improve the lives of the poor with more direct interventions through tourism.
At present, the project continues to tap the potential of the 13 million poor Filipinos and the 2.1 million Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) households in priority tourism clusters.
”(Through) The One Step project with DSWD, we identify selected supplier communities then provide a type of training such as handicraft making, soap making, to allow them to become a viable partner for tourism,” Bengzon said.
“It’s very clear that we will continue to look at how tourism benefits various communities,” he said.