November 8, 2021

Executives from the DOT promote Philippine tourism at a trade show in Japan.

During the month-long 2nd Online Travel Mart of the Japan Association of Travel Agents Association, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat presented the Philippines’ national policy for sustainable tourism development and response to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic to the Japanese travel market (JATA).

Last October 27, the tourism chief led a country presentation at the International Tourism Forum (ITF), which included luminaries from the Japanese travel industry such as Milton Morinaga, chairman of the board of the Guam Tourist Bureau, and Eijiro Yamakita, president and CEO of the Japan Travel Bureau.

The panelists also discussed their individual policies in relation to the theme of the Osaka event, “How to Create a Better Tourism Value Chain” and environment for both customers and the travel industry.

Puyat discussed the Department of Transportation’s tourism initiatives, including the Tourism Response and Recovery Plan (TRRP) and the revised National Tourism Development Plan for 2020-2022.

The panelists applauded the DOT’s push to make vaccination of tourist front-liners a priority.

“We need to take a balanced approach,” Puyat added, “considering economic viability, employment creation, and environmental sustainability.”

She believes the pandemic has given the tourism industry an opportunity to re-calibrate and become more responsible, accountable, inclusive, and sustainable.

“We are a nation committed to welcome our guests with a smile and giving our best products and services,” she said, praising the Filipino style of service.

The Philippine country presentation, a two-and-a-half-hour webinar especially for JATA member agents, backed up her remarks.

Puyat reaffirmed the Philippines’ commitment to follow worldwide health and safety standards recognized by international tourist authorities, as well as to explore the upgrade of existing tourism products, in her keynote speech.

Prior to the pandemic, Japan was the Philippines’ fourth-largest travel market.

“We are confident in JATA’s backing, and we look forward to continuing our long and mutually beneficial relationship,” Puyat added.

The Tourism Promotions Board’s chief operations officer, Maria Anthonette Velasco Allones, launched the “More Fun Awaits” campaign to promote the fascinating destinations and tales the DOT has prepared for passengers.

Assistant Secretary Christopher Morales provided an update on Japanese travelers’ preferred locations, emphasizing nature tourism, marine tourism, adventure tourism, and sun and beach tourism.

A presentation on the DOT’s initiatives to re-calibrate domestic tourism products for the international market was also given.

Guiller Asido, chair of the Task Force on Domestic Tourist Product and Market Development and concurrent administrator of the Intramuros Administration, discussed domestic tourism circuits and the Department of Transportation’s goal of developing high-value, low-density, low-impact travel products.

Across the country, Undersecretary Verna Buensuceso offered community-based food tourism goods and experiences.

From the private sector, Hiroki Iwai, sales manager of Chroma Hospitality and representative of the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association, spoke on the accommodations sector’s initiatives to assure passenger safety.

The Philippine Association of Convention Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers Inc. (PACEOSMarisa )’s Nallana addressed the TPB’s incentive programs for the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibits) market, as well as providing a quick update on the MICE sector’s developments.

Puyat also urged JATA officials to seek collaboration and active engagement in DOT Team Japan projects, as well as providing an update on the Boracay rehabilitation activities to the virtual audience.

On the occasion of the JATA Tourism Expo Japan 2019, Puyat received the Excellent Partner Award for DOT’s contribution in the island’s rehabilitation.

From October 17 through November 30, the 2nd JATA Online Travel Mart will be held.

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