Gov’t eyes incentivizing sustainable tourism

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora


The Department of Tourism (DOT) is looking at the possibility of incentivizing sustainable tourism practices.


In a post-State of the Nation Address forum on Tuesday, July 26, Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco sought the introduction of incentives for tourism stakeholders who she said would be the ones to implement the government’s green policies to preserve destinations.


“[It’s] very, very important to incentivize sustainable tourism policy implementation -- the introduction of incentives for the private sector who would implement green policies that give value to the preservation of the environment, as well as the introduction of measures that promote environmental protection, energy-efficient usage, and the like,” she said.


Frasco made the statement as she acknowledge that sustainable development as a concept “does have a tendency to be disconnected to actual implementation on the ground, by the very nature of it being quite theoretical.”


“From my local government experience, it has taught me that it’s very, very important to be able to translate these theoretical policies to actual implementation. And how we are looking to do that, is to be able to introduce sustainable development policies to a wider sustainable development that looks at economic policy, environmental policy, and social policy,” she said.


Frasco said she would involve local government units in policy crafting as well as the host community and private sector for grassroots implementation.


In addition, she laid out her vision for the local communities to adopt sustainable tourism not only as a policy but rather as a way of life.


“[This is] so that eventually, sustainable tourism is not only a matter of government regulation but rather of self-regulation, in that the community takes an active part in the implementation of all of these policies,” she said.


“It’s also very important to our mind that President Marcos has very clearly laid out the importance of enhancing the Filipino brand, in that we inculcate among the Filipino people --and encourage among them -- pride of place, that they may take ownership of taking care of their communities,” she said.


Frasco, in the same forum, also outlined her plans to fast-track the sector’s recovery from the pandemic.


These include improving tourism infrastructure, enabling digitalization, enhancing overall tourist experience, diversification of present tourism portfolios to explore “multi-dimensional tourism,” and equalization of tourism marketing and product development opportunities.


“In our view, it’s also very, very important to ensure that we examine all existing strategies that have been set in place, continue the good programs that have been implemented, and introduce innovations and strong coordination with tourism-enhancing [government] agencies in the national government,” she said. (PNA)