TOURISM Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco will speak on Sept 22 at the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Global Tourism Economy Forum (GTEF) at the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) where the secretary will share the Philippines’ strategies and “best practices” toward the industry’s sustainable growth and development.
Frasco will be joining tourism ministers from across the globe, including His Excellency (HE) Hu Heping of China, HE Daniela Garnero Santanche of Italy, HE Celso Sabino De Oliveira of Brazil and HE Priantha Fernando of Sri Lanka, among others.
Also expected to attend the meeting of global tourism leaders are UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) President and CEO Julia Simpson and Global Tourism Economy Forum (GTEF) Secretary Pansy Ho.
Other panelists include Natalia Bayona, Executive Director of the UNWTO and Harry Hwang, director of the UNWTO Regional Department for Asia and the Pacific.
Frasco will be speaking as a panelist for the session titled “Sustainability in Focus: Navigating the Future of Tourism in Asia” and is expected to tackle the Philippines’ key strategies to simultaneously pursue sustainability objectives while ensuring the growth of the local tourism industry.
These strategies would include the Philippines’ profile as one of the megadiverse regions in the world, incorporation of multi-dimensional tourism in its product development, expansion of tourism development to emerging destinations as well as the inclusion of Batanes to the highly regarded UNWTO International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories (INSTO).
“I am honored to bring the Philippines’ sustainable tourism plans, initiatives and successes to the global stage to promote awareness of the incredible beauty and biodiversity of our country, and the work to sustain its development, conservation and promotion to ensure tourism’s continued contribution to our country’s economy,” Frasco said.
Frasco is the youngest member of the cabinet of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., and a former local chief executive. She has introduced innovative programs aimed at promoting sustainability and expanding opportunities for tourism development in the countryside. Among her first directives is to include sustainability indicators in the National Accommodation Standards (NAS).
On her request, the DOT has also set an ambitious goal of training 100,000 tourism frontliners on the Filipino Brand of Service Excellence with modules that include sustainability principles. The DOT has also launched the Philippine Experience Program to diversify the country’s tourism offerings beyond its natural assets through heritage, culture and arts caravans across regions.
The GTEF is a leading international exchange platform designed to promote the sustainable development of the global tourism sector.