CEBU CITY, Philippines – After several months of lockdown, efforts are underway to revive various economic activities in the country. This includes the tourism industry which is a top job generator for the country.
For this purpose, a two-hour web forum titled “#TravelSmart: Safe and Sustainable Tourism in the New Normal” will be held on Thursday, July 16, 2020, with Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat as keynote speaker.
The web forum was organized by PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. in partnership with the DOT together with key partners such as Grassroots Travel, a non-government organization that helps communities protect their natural and cultural heritage through sustainable tourism.
Joining Sec. Puyat as speakers are Al S. Panlilio, Smart Communications Inc. President and CEO; Joselito “Boboi” Costas, founder of Grassroots Travel; Mon Isberto, Public Affairs Group Head for PLDT and Smart; Carlo S. Ople, PLDT Vice President; Marvin Santos, PayMaya Philippines Inc. Enterprise Head for Public Sector; Max Limpag, InnoPub Media Co-founder; and Jomelyn Manigos-De los Reyes, Bojo Aloguinsan Ecotourism Association Vice President.
The webinar aims to shed light on the current challenges being faced by the tourism industry, share the best tourism practices of various institutions, and present digital tools and mobile applications that local tourism players can tap and use to improve the post-COVID tourism experience.
Target participants for the webinar include representatives of local government units, tourism officers, culture and heritage groups, and members of the news media.
“Reviving domestic tourism under current conditions requires that we combine seemingly opposed qualities: discipline with creativity, caution with confidence. We hope that this webinar will provide insights on how the different stakeholders can work together to achieve this. For Smart, we are keen to explore how digital technologies can help,” says Isberto.
“To resuscitate the tourism industry, we have to work top to bottom and bottom to top, and empower the industry stakeholders especially the local communities in the rural areas who are the most vulnerable group even before this pandemic. They need to have the technological tool in order to advance— digital tools and a wealth of information and skills to have a share of the pie in the post-COVID era,” Costas adds. / dcb