The Provincial Tourism Office led by Ms. Liberty Herrera together with tourism officers of different municipalities and cities in Cavite, supported and actively participated in the recent Tourism Stakeholders Conference held at the Bay Leaf Hotel on September 29-30, 2016. With the theme, “Breaking the Barriers: Tourism Stakeholders Conference”, participants composed of prominent personalities and key players in the tourism industry, persons with disabilities, and tourism students from different schools and universities, tackled the hurdles and obstacles on promoting tourist attractions and the struggles that PWDs encounter in terms of accessibility and transportation.
Department of Tourism Region IV-A Director Rebecca V. Labit delivered her message expressing gratitude to Lyceum of the Philippines and the academe for vigorously promoting tourism and hospitality management in the country. She said that tourism remains a vibrant industry not only in the Philippines but in other countries as well. She reiterated that there are now more activities for tourism like farm and eco tourism looping heritage, culture, arts and culinary including pilgrimage with improved accessibility to the destinations through the construction of more roads that now connects the far-flung destination to the main hub. She also mentioned that DOT has met its success in improving institutional governance with the support of the LGU partners and stakeholders with quality concerns for tourism standards, legislative actions to protect not only the interest of the tourist but the stakeholders as well. Likewise, DOT has been providing massive information and policy directions that will make the people from all walks of life including the retired, senior citizens, PWDs and persons with special needs respond and enjoy the experience of travel.
DOT Secretary Wanda Teo, being one of the keynote speakers, has enlightened the participants with a presentation of the tourism industry overview. She also reiterated the efforts exerted by the DOT to encourage tourists and travelers to come and enjoy the tourist attractions in the country. Mr. Emerson Atanacio, President of Terra Verde Eco Farm showed a power point presentation on what Terra Verde Eco farm has to offer and discussed the accessibility of tourist attractions and activities.
Students from UP Los Baños, UPHR Molino, and Lyceum of the Philippines-Cavite Campus were given enough time for their queries and comments in the open forum. Likewise, ice breaker, raffle and acknowledgement of sponsors were facilitated by Bay Leaf Hotel General Manager, Ed Vitug.
On the second day, accessibility in transport system was discussed with Secretary Arthur Tugade of the Department of Transportation and Communication and President Augusto Lagman of the Automobile Association Philippines. Accessibility and information technology was presented by Dr. Alex Madrigal of the Department of Science and Technology Region IV-A. On the other hand, Ms. Adela Kono, a PWD and accessibility advocate discussed the problems encountered by persons with disabilities in travelling citing experiences of discomfort in transportation and accessibility in buildings and amenities.
LPU Vice President for Administration, Ma. Teresa Pilapil was also present to support the event, together with stakeholders from different agencies and local government employees. ---(PICAD)