Jeam Out of Town Blog Hub (Outoftownblog.com) – Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco plans to make improvements to the country’s air and seaports to embody the “Philippine brand” and give tourists a good first and last impression when visiting the Philippines.
In a meeting with Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime J. Bautista on Monday, Aug. 8, the tourism chief noted that as the country’s primary gateway, airports and seaports play a vital role in the overall tourist experience and tourism. value chain.
She added that the DOT plans to improve existing facilities at airports and seaports by introducing upgrades that will make the ports more aesthetically pleasing, convenient, tourist-friendly and, most importantly, reflect the “Philippine brand.”
“In addition to improving convenience for travelers and tourists, DOT is also considering putting a ‘Philippine brand’ in our ports, a good image of the Philippines that would stay in the minds of visitors to the country before visiting different destinations in the Philippines and long after they are gone,” said Secretary Frasco.
Some of the DOT-recommended improvements include the installation of signage that will look uniform across all air and seaports, as well as the use of lighting, backdrops, and furnishings that will distinctly reflect the “brand Filipina”. Frasco noted that the DOT wants the “experience to be positive for all the senses” and that there will also be interactive exhibits featuring various artists and artisans to make the airport experience extraordinary and experiential for passengers. travellers.
“Traditionally, the Ministry of Tourism has been involved in promotion and marketing only and mainly in advertisements, but this time around we wanted an unspoken manifestation of our brand as the Philippines because that is what the President has says very clearly in his SONA, that he wants us to promote the Filipino brand to the world, this is something we would like to announce in the Philippines, starting with our pride and our culture, our heritage and our identity as Filipinos. And that’s why the elements of the aesthetic enhancements that we want to introduce are all made in the Philippines and uniquely Filipino,” enthused the DOT chief.
In addition to aesthetically appealing ports, the DOT is also pushing for a stress-free passenger experience with more efficient service and reduced wait times for passengers. The DOT recommends a single window for land, air, and sea connectivity with the provision of digitized service to facilitate efficiency. The Department has also engaged a tourist assistance office with trained staff to respond to visitor concerns.
Frasco also highlighted the need to provide appropriate functionality and facilities at walkways and transportation hubs for persons with disabilities (PWDs) as part of the Department’s advocacy for barrier-free tourism. The availability of wheelchairs, elevators with disability-friendly features, clearly designated parking spaces for people with disabilities, and check-in counters with low, recessed or split-level counters that can accommodate people seated on wheelchairs were among the DOT proposals.
Meanwhile, the DOT has suggested resuming pre-pandemic routes to minimize congestion at major ports. The Department has also proposed the opening of new local and domestic lines in view of the positive evolution of travel conditions and demand.
“While we understand that introducing major infrastructure changes to existing airports and seaports is something that cannot be done in the short term, in response to the President’s call to improve the overall tourist experience, we have identified ways to introduce improvements that do not necessarily involve long-term actions,” the tourism chief added.
DOT recommends Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 (NAIA-T2), Davao International Airport (DVO), and Cebu City Pier 1 for pilot projects of the Airport Improvement Program and the Seaport.
The program, which will be led by DOT with support from DOTr, will be a joint partnership between the two agencies. During the meeting, Transportation Secretary Bautista accepted DOT’s proposal to create a technical working group (TWG) that would oversee the smooth and comprehensive facilitation of the improvement program.
“I think our experience working with airlines and now working with government will now allow us to address issues and challenges and working with the Department of Tourism we can better improve the experience for our tourists. I’m very happy that we started this conversation, and I agree that we need to discuss the details of the project more, let’s organize a working group. This is a very good collaboration between the DOT and the Department of Transportation. Let’s make it happen,” Bautista said.
In addition to its recommendation to restore identified domestic and international flights, DOT also proposes to strengthen its partnership with DOTr on the development of air and sea routes.
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