By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos
MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has approved the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) 2023-2028 which will serve as his administration’s blueprint and development framework for the tourism industry.
Marcos gave his approval during a sectoral meeting held at Malacañan Palace in Manila, Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco said in a Palace press briefing.
“This NTDP is the result of consultation among tourism coordinating council as well as our various tourism stakeholders from our regions all over the PH,” Frasco said.
“As a whole, the NTDP shall provide a guide for our regions as well [as] in the effort of President to spread countrywide development through tourism,” she added.
The NTDP 2023-2028, Frasco said, lays down the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) seven objectives which focus on the essential pillars of development that would give the Philippines a “fighting chance at becoming a tourism powerhouse.”
Frasco said the NTDP aims to promote the Philippines domestically and internationally, as well as address several issues on tourism development, including challenges on infrastructure, connectivity, and digitalization.
She added that the national development plan seeks tourism equalization, enhancement of overall tourism experience, and strengthening of tourism governance.
“We are very grateful to our President for articulating very early in his administration his priority for tourism development. And this has resulted in a convergence among government agencies as far as giving full support to the development of the industry, recognizing the losses that have ensued as a result of the pandemic and various calamities,” Frasco said.
Frasco said the NTDP would give Filipinos an opportunity to enjoy gainful employment and livelihood and the Philippines a better position in its primary role in the Southeast Asia and the world.
“This is just one of the many programs under the Marcos administration that aims to maximize domestic tourism, recognizing its strength to support our economy as well as to usher in more international tourists,” she said.
Marcos had already been informed of the overall proposed financial consideration for the NTDP 2023-2028, according to Frasco.
‘Enhanced’ tourism slogan
Quizzed about the change in the DOT’s marketing strategy, Frasco said the Marcos administration’s focus is to “highlight the heart and soul of the Filipinos.”
She said there would be consultations with tourism stakeholders before the government launches its new enhanced tourism slogan promoting the Philippine experience in the coming weeks.
“The main change first of all is that the focus of the DOT will be to highlight the heart and soul of the Filipino that is evident in our culture, our festivals, our food, the local products of our small and medium enterprises are living cultural heritage, everything that makes us diverse and unique and a proud Filipino people that gives us pride of place” she said.
“We are putting forth the best of the best of the Philippines to the world because it cannot be denied that we do give the world our best and while the DOT has not yet come out with an enhanced tourism slogan as a country brand, I assure you you’ll love it,” Frasco added. (PNA)