The Department of Tourism (DOT) is set to revive the Tourism Coordinating Council (TCC) to address urgent issues in the Philippine tourism industry.
Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon T. Teo said the TCC will be composed of officials of at least nine government agencies and headed by herself. The TCC will be tasked to ensure the smooth implementation of the government’s tourism program, especially with an increased concern for tourism security and insufficient infrastructure, among other concerns.
“We cannot sweep these issues under the rug. It is the mandate of the Tourism Coordinating Council to resolve such issues,” Teo said.
Teo, a longtime industry player herself, acknowledged that the TCC has not convened for one-and-a-half years despite concerns, such as kidnapping of foreigners, poor access roads and lack of direct flights to tourist destinations.
She said Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald M. dela Rosa has already assured police visibility at tourist areas and augmentation of the tourist police units.
Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade, likewise, guaranteed improvements of airport facilities all over the country, she added.
On the other hand, Public Works Secretary Mark A. Villar has also promised to improve and build more “airport-to-paradise roads” in the country’s tourist destinations.
Traffic congestion; destruction of historical sites; massive number of street people and “colorum” tour guides; and taxi services were also raised during a recent open forum between Teo’s team and tourist industry leaders.