ECCP at Work

Online Roundtable Discussion with DOT Usec. Bengzon: “CHECK-IN: Visayas’ Tourism Post COVID-19

December 05, 2020

ECCP Online

ECCP at Work

European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines and the ECCP Tourism Committee, in partnership with the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, organized an online roundtable discussion with the Department of Tourism entitled “CHECK-IN: Visayas’ Tourism Post COVID-19”. The event was graced by the   Department of Tourism Undersecretary for Tourism Development, Hon. Benito Bengzon, as the keynote speaker and Key Respondent. The Visayas DOT Regional Directors Atty. Helen J. Catalbas (Region VI), Shahlimar Hofer Tamanon (Region VII), and Karina Rosa Tiopes (Region VIII) also joined the undersecretary as co-respondents. 

This event has provided the Provincial and City Tourism Offices, and other industry players of the Visayas region an opportunity to showcase their respective programs, initiatives, and best practices in line with the DOT’s programs, policies, and interventions in responding to COVID-19 crisis.  At the same time, it provided a platform to discuss ways on how to address challenges in the LGUs and private sector’s programs and initiatives to support the overall objectives of the DOT’s policy programs. 

Various questions had been raised in relation to the key concerns of tourism operation, safety protocols, and localized travel guidelines. It was revealed in the same discussion that the unfortunate arrival of COVID-19 did not hinder the Visayans to thrive in the new normal and even gave way to new products and businesses in the sector. The discussion ended with a call of encouragement for each tourism destination to provide accessible travel guidelines and requirements, and the safety protocols to be followed in response to the pandemic. It was also suggested that there should be an independent assessing body to evaluate and accredit the tourism destinations to further ensure safety and readiness to accept domestic and hopefully, international tourists.  It was concluded that Visayas tourism industry will be able to bounce back in the tourism scene in the near future if both the government and private sector will work hand in hand.

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