Luntiang Pilipinas Party-list (Luntian) on Tuesday expressed support for the updated version of the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) signature tourism campaign “It’s More Fun in the Philippines,” saying that the agency’s focus on sustainable tourism “is relevant given the need to ensure that the country’s top tourist destinations do not suffer the same fate as Boracay, which the government was forced to shut down for six months because of rampant violations of basic environmental laws.”
According to Luntian first nominee Michael Ubac, the closure of Boracay “was an eye-opener for those unaware of the gravity of the problems that accompany unfettered development that is pursued at the expense of the environment.”
“The country’s potential as a tourist destination is undeniable. We have some of the most beautiful islands in the world, and we truly have the capacity to attract millions of tourists and generate billions of dollars in revenue and thousands of jobs,” said Ubac.
“It will be more fun in the Philippines for decades to come if we remain vigilant, safeguard the environment.”
“But if we do not enforce the laws put in place to protect our country’s natural beauty, we will not be able to sustain the tourist arrivals and we can kiss those profits goodbye. It will be akin to killing the goose that lays the golden eggs,” explained the multi-awarded journalist.
In 2018, some 7.1 million tourists arrived in the Philippines, an all-time high record despite the six-month closure of Boracay. The figure is 7.65 percent higher than 2017’s 6.62 million arrivals.
On Monday, the DOT unveiled the refreshed version of the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” with an emphasis on sustainable tourism.
Speaking at the National Museum of Natural History in Manila, DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said that more tourists have “become conscious about their ecological footprint, the cultures and experiences they are consuming, that they simply want to know how they can give back.”
“More tourists have “become conscious about their ecological footprint, the cultures and experiences they are consuming.”
The refreshed campaign, added Romulo-Puyat, is “a truly 100 percent crowd-sourced tourism campaign” that will use content produced by tourists.
Ubac said Luntian, which started as a movement established by Senator Loren Legarda, would encourage the public to participate in the campaign, while emphasizing the need to care for the environment.
“Yes, it is more fun in the Philippines… And it will be more fun in the Philippines for decades to come if we remain vigilant, safeguard the environment, and ensure that tourists—local and foreign alike—respect our environmental laws,” Ubac stressed.