Tourism development requires boosting connectivity – DOT chief

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 15) — Connectivity in the country must be strengthened to develop the tourism industry, according to Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Frasco.

"Connectivity is one of the most important components to ensure that we truly open up the country to tourism," Frasco said during the Tourism Stakeholders' National Summit on Wednesday.

She added that the DOT and the Department of Transportation are holding talks with aviation stakeholders about expanding direct and domestic flights, and decongesting primary gateways.

"So what we've seen so far under the Marcos administration is not only the resumption of flights international and domestic, but also the addition of new routes especially from our key markets," Frasco said.

In the National Tourism Development Plan 2023-2028, the secretary noted that the government aims to create a sustainable, resilient, and competitive tourism sector.

Connectivity does not only cover transportation but also the internet and telecommunications, Frasco said, as she underscored that the agency is also working with the Department of Information and Communications Technology to enhance internet connection in at least 94 tourist destinations.

"Through cohesive and comprehensive digitalization and connectivity, we see the future where tourism enterprises and communities can effectively use innovations and technology. Where even the most remote tourism sites is properly connected to power and telecommunications," she said.

This year, the DOT plans to launch programs such as the tourist lifecycle application, tourist assistance call center, and the Philippine experience culture, heritage, and arts caravan.

The agency also aims to train 100,000 tourism frontline workers - including those in airports - and generate more jobs in the second National Tourism Jobs Fair at the end of March.

Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines president and Quirino Gov. Dakila Cua expressed support for the DOT in realizing its goal for local tourism. House Committee on Tourism chairman Eleandro Madrona also said they will continue to pass legislation to aid the tourism sector.

As of March 15 this year, the country has recorded 1,152,590 international tourist arrivals. The DOT is confident it can surpass its target of 4.8 million international visitors for 2023.