1st tourism stakeholders’ summit celebrates the local tourism

“By celebrating the local we are recognizing what is authentic, what is homegrown, what is community-owned,” said Governor Hilario P. Davide III said in his speech during last Thursday’s Cebu Tourism Stakeholder’s Summit held at the Oakridge Pavilion.

“We are working toward achieving the provincial government’s goal of sustained and inclusive growth in the countryside. Sustainable tourism has the potential to help achieve this goal,” he added.

The first-ever stakeholder’s summit organized by the Cebu Provincial Government served as a prelude to next year’s celebration of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

2017 has been declared by the United Nations (UN) as a year to advance environmental, social and economic contribution of the tourism sector to international sustainability.

“Any developmental planning process requires the involvement of every member of the community – the public and the private sectors. Without a doubt, active local participation is a very crucial and important factor in sustainable tourism development,” said Davide.

Participants of the stakeholders’ summit included members of the local government units (LGUs), owners of private resorts, local tourism managers from various municipalities, and tourism students from universities.

The summit featured one of the best speakers in their respective niches namely Atty. Maria Jane C. Paredes, Max T. Limbag, Cynthia G. Moreno, Johanna Michelle Lim, Atty. Lucille Kaye M. Isberto, Archt. Joy M. Onozawa, and Jona Bering.

Noteworthy topics were discussed during the summit triggering various insightful and engaging panel discussions between the speakers and the delegates.

Topics ranged from Cebu tourism updates and trends, digital trends in travel, and creativity in sustainable resort architecture to bamboo innovations and innovative ways of promoting town destinations.

Adding spice to the discussions were the bubbly and witty panel moderators namely LTFRB 7 Director Ahmed Cuizon, beauty queen Iris Castillo and writer/photographer Jude Bacalso.

Provincial Tourism Manager Joselito “Boboi” Costas shared his knowledge with the delegates during his discussion on Cebu’s best kept secrets which is a compilation of the world-class, stunning and picturesque destinations in Cebu.

In his speech, Costas encouraged the delegates to meet the tourism challenges head-on through market intelligence, creativity and innovation.

Delegate Ma. Jocelyn Tawil, a tourism manager, said that the summit is a good venue to share the industry’s best practices.

“We are happy that Governor Davide has shown his support to the tourism industry through this summit.  We came all the way from Poro, Camotes Island to learn more on how we can promote our island, what needs to be done and what the government can do to help us achieve our goals,” she said.

The Cebu Tourism Stakeholder’s Summit was sponsored by the Provincial Tourism Office in cooperation with the Department of Tourism 7. (Katrina Marie Diaz)