Volun-tourism to enhance tourism in the country – solon

June 26, 2012 10:14 pm 

MANILA, June 26 — To further enhance the country's tourism industry, a legislator has filed a bill seeking to promote an immersion program called Volunteer Tourism or Volun-Tourism in the country.

Rep. Anthony del Rosario (1st District, Davao del Norte) filed House Bill 6175 aiming to establish in the Department of Tourism (DOT) a program immersing foreign and local tourists in activities involving the improvement of the livelihood of Filipino, conservation of the environment and restoration of the country's heritage.

Del Rosario said the bill seeks to increase foreign tourist arrivals particularly those who are in search of volunteer activities and encourage domestic tourists to take part in tourism initiatives.

Del Rosario said the measure provides a venue for tourists to share their knowledge and expertise on improving or rehabilitating some of the country's tourism sites, and at facilitating sustainable tourism development in every municipality.

Del Rosario said the Volun-Tourism program shall encourage activities and programs which will promote awareness of the program and at the same time preserve the country's diverse cultures and heritage and encourage participation of local government units (LGUs), non-government organization (NGOs), people's organizations (Pos) and the private sector in initiating programs for tourism development.

Del Rosario said Volun-Tourism also aims to promote activities geared towards environmental protection, conservation, and restoration and develop a responsible tourism program as a strategy for environmentally- sound and community-participatory tourism programs, enlisting the participation of local communities, and ensuring full enjoyment of the benefits of tourism by the communities.

"Traveling for some people means visiting a famous city for a taste of food and culture. Scenic destinations are top priority for most of the travelers but others seek a more profound purpose such as giving back and offering practical help to the community where the tourist spot is located." Del Rosario said.

"Volun-tourism is a combination of volunteerism and tourism. It is a new concept in the travel industry wherein people are given the opportunity to travel, enjoy and at the same time involve themselves in worthy and charitable causes," Del Rosario added.

Del Rosario said the program is becoming a popular concept among travelers around the world and tourists no longer just limit themselves to mere sight-seeing but prefer to immerse themselves in local culture and engage in socially relevant activities. (PNA)



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