MANILA—Public and private sectors should work hand in hand to pursue sustainable tourism development since this would benefit not only the workforce but also the environment, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said.
Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo made this call during the Property Guru Philippines Property Awards 2017 on Thursday night at Fairmont Makati where she urged real estate developers to ensure environmental integrity at all times.
“It is incumbent upon all of us stakeholders to ensure that we are one in pursuing sustainable tourism development wherever in the country,” Teo said in her speech.
She lauded their current efforts to be advocates of a sustainable, inclusive, and climate-resilient Philippine tourism industry but urged them to do more.
“Not only do you provide homes and workspaces to Filipinos but also employment and business opportunities to our micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). I am one of those who are sincerely happy every time you decide to ramp up investments in Mindanao. But I challenge you all to do more,” she added.
Teo pointed out that the ongoing construction boom in the country is key in uplifting the lives of many ordinary Filipinos, but admitted that there were still tourism destinations that lack facilities and amenities.
Under the DOT’s National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) 2016 to 2022, its mandate is dominated by the requirement for improved transportation networks, primarily through the expansion of airports, seaports, and roads.
“At present, we still have tourism destinations that lack facilities and amenities. There are some that don’t have at all. Worst, we have a few that are on the brink of decline due to uncontrolled environmental degradation,” Teo said citing ecotourism destinations Bohol, Palawan, and Batanes as examples.
Quoting the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Teo defined sustainable tourism development as the “management of all resources in such a way that economic, social, and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity, and life support system.”
She stressed that real estate developers should also keep in mind that they played a crucial role in advancing inclusive tourism development.
In the same event, 29 established and up-and-coming developers from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao were recognized as winners in this year’s Property Guru Philippines Property Awards.
Megaworld Corporation bagged nine gongs and special awards, a mantle of Highly Commended honors, out of 25 nominations, including the Best Developer for second consecutive year.