TPB Stakeholders’ Meetings Bring Fresh Hope to Tourism Recovery

As the tourism industry navigates the path to recovery, hopes to sustain partnerships among the tourism stakeholders are revitalized through the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Philippines’ Weekly Members’ Chat launched last 11 November 2020.

The virtual weekly meetings provide a platform for insights, updates, interactions, and bestpractice sharing among the agency and its members. In attendance at the inaugural Weekly Members’ Chat were representatives from the 321 TPB member-establishments.

“Our goal is to support you, our valued members, as we go through the challenges of this pandemic together and prepare ourselves for eventual recovery. We want you to share the best things you have done through this pandemic which the others can benefit from,” said TPB Chief Operating Officer Maria Anthonette Velasco-Allones.

“We hope this series of meetings with tourism stakeholders will allow us to effectively communicate, productively collaborate, and sustainably contribute in building our communities and moving our country forward,” said Allones.

During the first session, speakers Ms. Catherine Turvill and Fr. Valentino Pinlac shared how tourism entities pivoted from their traditional operations.

Catherine Turvill, Co-owner and President of the Nurture Wellness Village in Tagaytay City, gave insights on how the health and wellness tourism industry responded to the pandemic.

Turvill said that when travel was brought to a standstill, the wellness resort pivoted to creating a line of vegan food products and healthier snack alternatives from superfoods such as turmeric, kale and malunggay.

Meanwhile, Fr. Valentino Pinlac of the Bohol Arts and Cultural Heritage Council shared best practices of how arts and culture can contribute to reviving tourism amid COVID-19.

Together with the provincial government of Bohol, they launched DASIG—a digital streaming program for local artists and performers in the province. As it was mobilized, it also served as a source of meaningful entertainment for people who were staying at home.

At the second session on November 18, invited speakers Ms. Sharon Perez and Mr. Cesar Cruz highlighted that compliance to safety protocols is key to travel in the New Normal as restrictions are slowly being lifted.

Ms. Sharon Perez, Executive Vice President of The Travel Depot shared that it is also the responsibility of travel agents and operators to know and understand the safety guidelines and protocols. Travel operators should be able to provide accurate information to ensure the safe travels of their clients.

Likewise, Mr. Cesar Cruz, President of the Philippine Tour Operators Association, Inc. (PHILTOA) said that travel operators and agents should be the model of compliance to safety protocols. Tourism front liners such as tour guides should not only be knowledgeable of the history of the destination but also of the precautionary measures in place and remind clients to observe them.

The TPB Membership Program is open for membership to Department of Tourism (DOT) accredited establishments and organizations. It aims to provide marketing services and benefits to its members through various activities which promote, advocate, and represent their interests for the benefit and sustainable development of their business and the tourism
industry as a whole.

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