FOR Department of Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco, "becoming the tourism powerhouse in Asia" means that by 2028, the Philippines shall have 34 million Filipinos employed in the industry.
She shared this goal at the 10th Global Tourism EconomyForum (GTEF) in Macao last week, saying that "...by 2028, we foresee that tourism [shall] have been able to employ a total of over 34 million Filipinos in the country, and it is the be-all and end-all of the development of the Philippine tourism industry."
Frasco was one of several tourism officials and leaders invited to the "The Davos of Tourism."
Notable guests included tourism ministers Hu Heping of China, Daniela Garnero Santanche of Italy, Celso Sabino De Oliveira of Brazil and Priantha Fernando of Sri Lanka, among others.
Also at the meeting were United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, World Travel and Tourism Council President and CEO Julia Simpson, and GTEF Secretary Pansy Ho.
Other panelists included Natalia Bayona, executive director of the UNWTO, and Harry Hwang, director of the UNWTO Regional Department for Asia and the Pacific.
Hosted by the Secretariat of Economy and Finance of the Government of Macao Special Administrative Region (GSEF), and in collaboration with the UNWTO, GETF is designed to promote the sustainable development of the global tourism sector.
Since its launching in 2012, GTEF has been committed to the promotion of global tourism, the deliberation of the most current topics, and the timely update of cutting-edge trends in the industry, with a particular focus on China.
GTEF tailors its programs and creates a setting where professionals in global tourism can share innovative and creative solutions, as the way forward for a more resilient, deeply rooted, global tourism economy.
With the panel on "Navigating the Future of Tourism in Asia," Frasco said the Philippines was a major stakeholder in the issue of sustainability, being "home to one of the longest coastlines in the world, as well as 70 to 80 percent of the Earth's biodiversity."
She added: "We are one of the most bio-diverse countries in the world, being home to 10 percent of marine protected areas.
"Sustainability and tourism have been an absolute necessity and the driving force of development for our country," she said.
At the forum, she noted that under the leadership of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the National Tourism Development Plan 2023-2028 was drawn up, which was crafted from a sustainability standpoint, and incorporated a seven-point agenda that directs how her department currently operates.
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