Carrying the theme, “Tourism and Jobs: A Better Future for All,” more than 900 students from the tourism and hospitality schools in the province convened for this year’s Cavite Tourism Forum held at the General Trias Cultural Convention Center on November 13, 2019.

Participants on the event were welcomed by Provincial Tourism Officer Rozelle Sangalang, expressing appreciation to the continuous support of the academe to the programs of the provincial government geared towards further development of the tourism industry in achieving sustainable economic growth.

Meanwhile, Atty. Jesse Raphael Grepo delivered a message on behalf of Governor Jonvic Remulla, motivating the youth with reports on various priority projects of the government including the opening of Sangley airport, new access roads and other tourism infrastructures creating a great impact on Cavite’s tourism industry. Atty. Grepo likewise lauded the endeavors of the Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office (PTCAO) while encouraging students to be innovative especially in promoting the province’s tourism, culture and arts.

The forum proper was filled with relevant and sufficient insights needed by the students in today’s tourism industry trends. Resource speakers include DOT-NCR Supervising Tourism Operations Officer Ms. Sharlene Batin, The Filipino Hospitality Founder Mr. Martin Aguilar, The Queen’s Escape Founder Ms. Anne Elizabeth Gumiran, and the Owner of Mayumi Organics Ms. Angelica Chongco.

In order to update students on the status of tourism in Calabarzon, Ms. Batin focused on Regional Travel Trends, with highlights on tourism statistics and data, stressing that the significance of these numbers, plus trainings on how to obtain such figures can support sustainable tourism development.

On the other hand, deeper understanding on competitiveness in the current tourism industry was provided by Mr. Aguilar. In his presentation, the founder of The Filipino Hospitality underscored integration of the ASEAN curriculum in the standards of tourism professionals, with huge emphasis on the necessary attitude, skills and knowledge. With his strong belief that tourism professionals cannot be replaced by technology, he encouraged students to be dedicated in achieving their dream and always be work ready to fill every gap in the industry.

Moreover, in today’s environmental issues come sustainability concerns, thus a need to talk about sustainable traveling and its pillars in which Ms. Gumiran shared her passion as a solo traveler to make a positive impact to the community. She articulated that in order to be a sustainable traveler, aspects such as economical, ecological and socio-cultural should be taken into consideration. Over-tourism and other threats or risks might be turned into opportunities with awareness on sustainability among tourists and travelers.

The topic of Ms. Chongco on responsible consumption and production completed the session proper. As an entrepreneur, Ms. Chongco shared her business journey’s success, being anchored on environmental and social responsibility.

As for realizations from the forum, tourism students grasped so much from values of having the right attitude, working with passion, traveling with discipline, reducing carbon footprints, and leaving positive influences in the community. These lessons must be inculcated on students which could contribute to achieve sustainability and generate more opportunities for the future.

Raffle prizes and lots of giveaways added fun to students for lighter feels in processing information being taken up for the whole day. The message of Ms. Sangalang in closing wrapped up the event, telling participants to apply the learnings and contribute to Cavite’s tourism industry growth.