THE Department of Tourism (DOT) held the first-ever Tourism Pride Summit in line with the inclusive development thrust of the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.
The Summit held at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel on September 28, 2023 gathered leading figures from the government, academe, tourism, and the LGBTQIA+ community, highlighting how government investment toward this niche market that spends around $200 billion a year can contribute significantly to the growth and development of Philippine tourism. Panel discussions are slated for promoting an inclusive and progressive tourism industry, expanding opportunities through benchmarking successful pride tourism initiatives of other countries, and the role of the creative industry in developing the LGBTQIA+ tourism market, which is projected to reach over $.5 trillion by 2030.
Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco is joined by her husband Congressman of the 5th District of Cebu and Deputy Speaker Duke Frasco
Secretary Frasco led the series of panel discussions, where she was joined by Congressman Christopher “Toff” de Venecia of the Fourth District of Pangasinan; Ronil Villacorta of the Philippine Financial and Inter-Industry Pride (PFIP); Regine Carmelli Reyes of the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW); Atty. Regal Oliva, President of Cebu Lady Lawyers Association Inc.; Girly Gravador, owner of Cygnal Travel; and Assistant Professor Rielle Alcantara-Castro of the Asian Institute of Tourism, University of the Philippines Diliman.
Also discussed were the unique challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ professionals and advocating for workplace and gender and development inclusivity; the unique experiences of LGBTQIA+ individuals and how their travel stories can enrich the DOT’s mission to create an all-encompassing, secure, and forward-looking tourism industry; LGBTQIA+ trends as a niche market in tourism; educational programs that incorporate LGBTQIA+ awareness and sensitivity training; and policies that harness the power of tourism to promote understanding, respect, and acceptance of LGBTQIA+ travelers and tourism workers, making destinations more inviting for everyone.
”We at the Department of Tourism take pride in the enormous contributions of the LGBTQIA+ community across the tourism value chain in all of the regions of the Philippines. With the very first Tourism Pride Summit, we are responding to global trends that present massive opportunities for growth by pursuing niche markets that will create more jobs in tourism,” said Secretary Frasco.