Tourism vows to bounce back from losses

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    Though marked by periods of starts and stops towards reopening, the tourism industry vows to bounce back in a big way as it battles the pandemic.

    This is in the face of estimates by the National Economic and Development Authority that P77.5 to P156 billion in gross value-added, equivalent to 0.4 to 0.8 percent of the GDP, had been lost in tourism.

    Jose Clemente, president of the Tourism Congress of the Philippines (TCP), said the industry is at the crossroads as vaccines are being rolled out around the world yet new coronavirus disease 2019 cases are rising in the country.

    Yet Clemente said he looks at this as a “time to restart as an industry “ by taking the situation by the horns.”

    “One thing over certainly tourism only back and it will be back in a big way . It may not be the same as to what you were used to, but there is still a future for us,” Clemente said at the Tourism Technology Forum yesterday.

    Clemente said “it will be crucial for all of us, government, and stakeholders to continue working together to make it happen and to make it work …(it) may take a lot of effort, tears and sweat, but we will get there. Not easy by any stretch, but at the start , let’s not take our eyes off the prize,” he added

    The TCP supports technology as a means for tourism to get back on its collective feet as one of the country’s prime economic drivers.

    Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat in her remarks said one of the Department of Tourism’s strategic pilot is the pivot to smart tourism which among other things entails the strengthening of digital platforms.

    “With the current situation, our priorities have shifted…We believe that digital technology is a valuable role, in order for us to bounce back and restart activities in the new normal, “ Puyat said.