CEBU CITY, May 21 (PIA) -- After hosting Routes Asia 2019 in February, Central Visayas hosted again another major international travel-trade event, this time, the Pacific-Asia Tourism Association (PATA) Annual Summit.
Known to some as PAS, it was attended by around 400 local and foreign tourism officers, tour operators, international leaders, industry shapers, and other tourism stakeholders in Asia-Pacific.
As it is the first time that the Philippines hosted this event, no less than the Secretary of the Department of Tourism, Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, welcomed the delegates during the opening of PAS in Cebu City.
The summit kicked off with a series of conference centered in the theme "Progress with a Purpose", which highlighted the tourism industry's challenges, issues and opportunities, its accountability to the society and its role
in promoting sustainable growth.
PATA Chief Executive Officer Dr. Mario Hardy said that this year's summit promotes inclusive tourism growth that could translate into genuine understanding of cultures and achieving a more peaceful world.
Accessible Tourism was also highlighted during the conference, something that the DOT has made an advocacy program over the years.
Patterned from the Philippine Accessibility Law or the Batas Pambansa 344, the department has been accrediting facilities and promoting sites that are accessible to all, especially those who have mobility limitations.
DOT Assistant Secretary for Tourism Regulation Maria Rica C. Bueno said the department has been conducting sensitivity trainings in handling persons with special needs.
"We want to make sure that the tourism industry in the country provide personalized and immersive travel experiences for myriad traveller segments and audience groups, as well as empowering travel and tourism professionals," Bueno said.
Secretary Puyat said "the Philippines is ready and willing to host more major international events". She also guaranteed the delegates that the Philippines is worth visiting over and over again. (Jan Karla Madrio/PIA7)