Salceda cites tourism's multi-faceted role

December 2, 2015 6:57 am 

By Allan Tan

LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 1 (PNA) — Albay Gov. Joey Sarte Salceda has underscored the significant role of tourism in the socio-economic life of the world’s family of nations.

“Tourism is one of the most inclusive and horizontal industries that could help vulnerable communities recover from climate change impacts as shown in the experience of Albay after its devastation by super typhoon ‘Reming’ in 2006 with foreign tourists rising from 8,700 in 2006 to 339,000 in 2014,” said Salceda in a statement Tuesday.

His projections on the tourism industry in Albay is on a high growth with 1,03,181 local and foreign tourists visiting the province in 2015; 1,246,227 tourists in 2016; 1,619,596 in 2018; 2,596,983 in 2021 and about 4,933,251 in 2025.

Second, he said, tourism can also be used as instrument in climate change mitigation.

“Ecotourism is unique among industries in that it creates value without necessarily consuming it—more so in ecotourism and in fact, tourism promotes love of nature, environment and ecotourism, thus, environmental protection that could outpace its carbon footprints,” said Salceda.

In fact, with the current trend of tourism, which is ecotourism, he recalled that he wanted to “shock” the entire Pacific Asia Travel Association delegation in London earlier when he told them that tourism is an instrument in climate change adaptation.

Third, tourism can be used as an instrument of intellectual understanding.

“Although in the current context, tourism and tourist flow are being used as an instrument of geopolitical power by Russia in Turkey or by china in the Philippines. In its normal state, tourism actually underpins exposure to different cultures and, thus, promote greater understanding,” the known investment banker said.

Salceda cited what happened to the Philippines when china issued an advisory due to a kidnapping case in Zamboanga.

“We lost 30,000 Chinese tourists in 2014, that’s why our foreign tourists went down by 9.4 percent simply because of the absence of Chinese tourists.

Fourth, tourism can serve as an instrument of economic inclusion.

He warned that “inequality is now the most critical issue to human civilization and is the cause of much of the underlying conflict” which tourism can address because it creates more job per dollar investment.

“In this current world of conflict, I think you really need a lot of face-to-face interaction or a person-to-person exchanges through tourism in order to promote greater understanding culturally,” the climate change adaptation expert said.

In fact, he said, to lessen the tension with China, the Department of Foreign Affairs is sending the Cultural Center of the Philippines ballet troupe, including Albay’s Sarungbanggi cultural dancers, to perform in selected cities in China.

“There should be an investment in time where you must build understanding among peoples and tourism is probably one of the best venues for common understanding with others,” Salceda said.

Albay is a United Nations Global Model for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation.

It’s being expert in climate change adaptation has made the province the choice of PATA as its venue for its 2015 forum held recently at Oriental Hotel on Nov. 25-27

Through its choice of venue, the association introduces its delegates to lesser-known yet attractive corners of the world, in line with its advocacy to promote dispersal of tourists to second-tier destinations.

The PATA delegates experienced the tourism attractions in the “City of Fun and Adventure” – Legazpi City in the province of Albay, known for its perfectly cone-shaped Mayon Volcano, once a nominee for the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

Albay has just won the 2015 PATA CEO Challenge’s Top Destination Award in the regional and provincial category and shares half of the one-million-dollar price with Thekkady and Kerala in India which bagged the second and the third prices for the towns and cities categories.

PATA, which was founded in 1951, is a non-profit organization that is internationally acclaimed for acting as catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific Region.

It provides aligned advocacy, insightful research and innovative events to its member-organizations — composed of 88 governments, states and city tourism bodies, 22 international airlines, airports and cruise lines, 62 educational institutions and hundreds of travel industry companies in Asia Pacific and beyond through thousands of travel professionals belonging to the 41 local PATA chapters worldwide. (PNA)



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