MANILA, Philippines – Improving the tourism industry’s resiliency in dealing with natural and man-made disasters was discussed during the Tourism Crisis Management Symposium organized by the Department of Tourism (DOT) at the Diamond Hotel Manila on Tuesday.
“Given all the structural advantages, it is not hard to envision the Philippines being the number one travel destination in Asia and the world,” DOT Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo said.
“The DOT continues to face challenges of uplifting tourism amidst perceived security and safety problems. Another factor is the perception of the Philippines as the center of natural calamities such as typhoons flash floods and earthquakes.”
Addressing these issues, Teo said, is imperative and thus a shared responsibility among stakeholders in order to guarantee safety and security throughout the country.
DOT Secretary Wanda Teo addressed concerns of PH tourism industry such as security preparedness & resiliency in disaster response.
DOT Undersecretary Alma Rita R. Jimenez also encouraged stakeholders to be involved by learning the ways of prevention, management and mitigation in the events of crises.
According to Jimenez, since the tourism industry banks on the economic impact of the marketed destinations, it is imperative to identify hazards and risks and consider their implications on tourism facilities and the economic sector in general.
DOT Undersecretary Alma Rita Jimenez encouraged stakeholders to take part in strengthening PH tourism by learning the ways of prevention, management and mitigation in the events of crisis.
The tourism industry recently contributed almost 20% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). In order to sustain this, the DOT identifies factors that might affect its performance in the long run.
Speakers include Dr. Donald Patrick L. Lim, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Philippines, who discussed the role of digital communication tools in countering negative news affecting digital marketing and certain ways of getting the public engaged in prevention.
Leveraging on technology is highly effective in creating compelling stories, thereby stirring curiosity and excitement among the target audience, Lim added.
Furthermore, the use of viral marketing, as well as inviting influencers to support a promoted cause, is also seen as an effective marketing strategy.
Dr. Donald Patrick L. Lim speaks on “Leveraging Digital Platform in Good Times and Bad Times
Meanwhile, Philippine Red Cross Secretary General Atty. Oscar P. Palabyab discussed the impacts of disasters on tourism and also addressed the apparent shortage of trained personnel for emergency response in establishments.
One of the points highlighted in Palabyab’s lecture was the need to have a risk-informed sustainable infrastructure development for every aspect of tourism.
Philippine Red Cross Secretary General Atty. Oscar P. Palabyab discusses “The Role of NGOs in Emergency Preparedness and Response”
Dr. Ted “Everest Doc” Esguerra, Operational Medicine Instructor from the International Disaster Response Network, advocated the creation of a crisis team in line with the RA 10121 (Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010) and Sendai Platform which will serve in the frontlines of disaster management for every tourism establishment. Also presented were the best practices in disaster risk management.
Dr. Ted “Everest Doc” Esguerra delivers lecture on disaster preparedness and the Crisis Management
Junie del Mundo, CEO of the EON Group, a company focused on public relations, presented case studies on disasters affecting tourism. He emphasized the role of crisis communications in the effective management of crisis aftermath in the events of terrorism, political turmoil, pandemics and disasters. The speed of recovery from a crisis, del Mundo said, is dependent on the country’s effective management.
EON Group Chief Executive Junie del Mundo speaks on the best practices in crisis PR
The symposium concluded with the unveiling of the PUKSA Crisis Management Process Flow led by Undersecretary Jimenez and other DOT officials and speakers.
PUKSA is a crisis management program tailored for the tourism industry. It will become a continuing cycle of establishing systems and procedures to be used in combatting risk factors identified as PESTE: Political turmoil, Economic instabilities, Social disturbances, Technological attacks and Environmental hazards.
With the construction of this workflow, the tourism industry ensures its readiness and resilience in the years to come.
From left to right, Henry Teodoro M. Hernia, Security Manager for Southeast Asia, Fluor Philippines; Cesar Cruz, PHILTOA President; Assistant Director General Ray D. Roderos, National Security Council; DILG Asst. Secretary Epimaco V. Densing III; PSSupt. Rudolph Dimas. Philippine National Police; Ishmael C. Narag, Officer-in-Charge, PHIVOLCS and Secretary Rafael M. Alunan III, Former Secretary of DOT and DILG.
Symposium delegates together with Undersecretary Jimenez and Assistant Secretary Japson pose for a photo with Secretary Alunan.
From left to right: Henry Teodoro M. Hernia, Fluor Philippines; Atty. Oscar Palabyab, Secretary General of the Philippine Red Cross; Junie del Mundo, CEO, EON Group and Dr. Ted “Everest Doc” Esguerra