MANILA—The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Thursday met with Metro Manila mayors, local government unit (LGU) representatives, tourism officers, and other stakeholders to discuss plans to revitalize urban tourism in Metropolitan Manila.
In her speech at the Metro Manila Tourism Forum at the Crowne Plaza Galleria, Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo cited Metro Manila’s share of challenges and the price that Filipinos seem to pay for its progress including traffic, congestion, and lack of urban planning.
She, however, renewed support for forums and dialogues to the start the big task of changing the face of the city for tourists.
Teo also cited how the successful the staging of the Miss Universe pageant last month that gave Metro Manila the chance “to remind people all over the globe that it is a thriving city with much to offer.”
She further said the pageant became not just a “platform to re-introduce the cities” but also to get the tourism numbers up.
The Secretary also assured LGUs that several programs in the pipeline, such as cruise tourism, will greatly benefit Metro Manila.
Moreover, she said that the agency’s plans to strengthen the roster of Tourist Police in cooperation with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) will also help tourists feel safer.
As for heritage sites within Metro Manila, Teo shared the agency’s continuing plans to rehabilitate old Manila’s Intramuros, which she described as a “place we are exerting most effort on to ensure that its history is preserved.”
“…If we can restore its architectural landmarks, it can continue to be the regal queen of the country,” Teo said.
“Beautiful destinations are not accidents; they are the results of deliberate, thoughtful planning, careful execution and much passion,” she added.
On all these concerns and issues, Dr. Mina Gabor of the Automobile Association Philippines Travel (AAP Travel) said she hopes to get the answer after the two-day forum, while enjoining all tourism stakeholders to “make Metro Manila the next top 20 destination in the world.”
The 2017 Metro Manila Tourism Forum is now ongoing until Friday at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria in Ortigas, and is hosted by Quezon City government in cooperation with the DOT and its marketing arm, the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB).