With Boracay finally shutting down for a six months moratorium period due to continuous environmental degradation, thus affecting one of the country’s key sources of tourism revenues, the Department of Tourism (DOT) steps up to develop a roadmap for advancing sustainable tourism in the country, by assisting the tourism sector shift to resource use efficiency and increase their cost savings, while decoupling tourism growth from carbon emissions.
Through DOT’s four-year project ‘Transforming Tourism Value Chains (TVC) to Accelerate More Resource Efficient, Low Carbon Development, in partnership with the Paris-based UN Environment Programme (UNEP), a sound agenda for sustainable tourism and low-carbon growth will be developed through a series of workshops for the tourism value chain.
Usec. Marco Bautista of the Department of Tourism
“Sustainable Tourism should pave the way for a more environmentally-responsible Accommodation and MICE sector in the country, in response to climate change adversities and the challenge for a more competitive and resilient tourism industry, under the new National Tourism Development Plan 2016-2022,” said the newly-appointed DOT Under Secretary Marco Bautista during the opening of the 3rd Workshop of the project.
Group Picture of Day 1 Participants to Workshop 3 of the Tourism Value Chain Project
Group Picture of Day 2 Participants to Workshop 3 of the Tourism Value Chain Project
Held last May 30-31, the 3rd project workshop was participated by hotel and resort owners and managers, its supply chain, tourism operators and researchers, NGO, sustainable tourism advocates, LGU tourism and environment officers, as well as MICE organizers. Highlighting this workshop is the presentation of the Greenhouse Gas Abatement Cost Model (GACMO), an essential tool for the Accommodation and MICE sector to shift to more sustainable, resilient and competitive business.
Earlier, the first and second project workshops came up with Philippine tourism value chain mapping, tourism hotspots analyses and short listing of solutions, with Iloilo and Metro Manila as project areas. These workshop results will be used as inputs for the National Sustainable Tourism Roadmap.
Organized by DOT’s project partner Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development Inc (PCEPSDI), the workshop highlighted the discussion on how the government, business, and civil society can collaborate and create a favourable context for collective action in improving the sustainability of the Tourism value chain in the Philippines.
Participants also actively contributed inputs to the Low Carbon and Resource Efficiency Roadmap in the Philippines, which will be implemented in the following years of the project. The workshop likewise collated how businesses could evaluate, compare, and select options to improve their environmental performance and reduce Climate Change related emissions.
Technical Consultant Jorgen Villy Fehann of the UN Environment-University of Denmark Partnership reiterated the need for tourism entities in the Philippines to join the Global action on climate change, through its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).
From left right, Mr. Kiko Velhagen of PCEPSDI, Dr. Alvin Culaba of De La Salle University, Jorgen Villy Fehann of the UN Environment Programme-Denmark Technical University Partnership (UNEP-DTU), Mr. June Alvarez PCEPSDI Executive Director, Pablo Montes of UNEP, Mark Barthel and Claire Kneller from Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP).
UN Environment representative Pablo Montes said, “Tourism industry in the Philippines is one that has been a lot of progress in the topics that we covered during the workshop mainly, and with this Sustainable Tourism, how to address climate change, how to mitigate climate change emissions, and how to be more resource efficient. There is a strong political back up or leadership and a lot of institutional frameworks to facilitate and actions on Sustainable Tourism. There is also a lot of activity from the businesses that can be tap on to look further and increase the ambition in terms of how the Tourism Value Chain can lead and be more low carbon and resource efficient.”
Mr. Neil Rumbaoa, Vice President for Marketing for SM Hotels and Conventions Corporations commented “One of the learnings I’ve got from the workshop is that obviously, we don’t have time, the world is changing. Climate has changed already and unfortunately for us, we cannot recover more what has been lost so to speak. What we can do now is to make it better and incorporate best practices in our operations so that we can mitigate to the events of climate change. And it is very scary not just for our industry but for humanity, just like one of the speaker said, ‘It would be nice if we leave Earth, better for our children’”.
To know more about this technical assistance project, and how you may gain benefits from sustainable tourism, you may reach the TVC Project Officer, Mr. Kiko Velhagen at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call at 727-5787 for project details.