DOT gears up to make main office the next Christmas shopping destination

September 22, 2015 8:09 am 

By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, Sept. 21 (PNA) — Everyone is invited to do their early Christmas shopping at the Department of Tourism's (DOT) main office in Makati City, a tourism official said on Monday.

It’s that time of the year again when the DOT opens its doors for the public to revel in and avail of the best tourism products and the best tourism services from the Philippines’ 16 regions in time for the Christmas season.

Through “Countdown to Christmas: Celebrating the Regions”, the DOT, in its main office along Sen Gil J. Puyat Avenue and Jupiter Street in Makati, is giving domestic and foreign tourists an early holiday treat.

“Last year, DOT Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. advised regions to come together to bring not only their products but also tour packages to be sold to consumers that would like to purchase gifts or items for themselves this Yuletide season,” DOT Assistant Secretary Arturo Boncato Jr. told reporters in an interview on the sidelines of its launch.

“This year is a continuation of that and Secretary wishes that this would continue on even the next administration,” he added.

With the theme “Community-based Ecotourism in the Philippines”, Boncato said the objective was to expose the regions and their communities’ products to tourists living within the metro.

“We’re helping them (communities) have these products appreciated here in the capital,” Boncato said. “Ecotourism, in terms of concept, is not new, but in terms of implementation it’s something that’s gaining momentum.”

Christmas destination

According to Boncato, the idea was to make DOT “a destination itself for Christmas.”

“No matter how limited we have in terms of space, the whole idea is that we invite you and the public, celebrating the longest celebration of Christmas here in the DOT,” Boncato said.

Last year, Boncato said that all 16 regions generated almost Php1-million worth of sales. The DOT official said that this year, the DOT expects the numbers to increase since it has been launched a month earlier.

“All of the regions (generated) close a million and we did it from October to December. This year, we would want to increase that and we have more products now,” the DOT official said.

“We hope to inspire more local government units (LGUs) to engage communities to focus their minds into ecotourism because they are also our partners in guarding the environment,” he added.

The schedule for clusters on display are: National Capital Region (Sept. 21 to Oct 2), Southern Luzon (Oct. 5 to Oct. 16), Mindanao (Oct. 19 to Oct. 30), Northern Luzon (Nov. 3 to Nov. 13), Visayas (Nov. 16 to Nov. 27), and One Philippines (Nov. 30 to Dec. 18). (PNA)

RMA/ANP

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