Senator Francis Tolentino said that revitalizing and strengthening the tourism industry is a primary ingredient in “jumpstarting” the pandemic-stricken economy across the Asia-Pacific Region.

Tolentino made the remark during his speech at the 30th Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum in Bangkok, Thailand.

According to the legislator, the need to revive the tourism industry among nations across Asia-Pacific requires policy response, not only to address the demands of a re-awakened tourism industry, but as well as to meet current and emerging needs.

“The future of Asia-Pacific tourism shall be largely shaped by the policy response of today.”

“The future of Asia-Pacific tourism shall be largely shaped by the policy response of today. An integrated regional tourism policy for the Asia Pacific Region will be essential as the policies and actions of one country may have implications on the policies and actions of another,” the lawmaker said.

“Applying enabling legislation will play a crucial element in establishing a more adaptive Asia-Pacific tourism economy.”

The senator stressed that applying “enabling legislation” will play a crucial element in establishing a more adaptive Asia-Pacific tourism economy–one that will be vibrant, diverse, and inclusive, adding that having a sustainable tourism for the region “will entail expanded collaboration not only among national governments, but as well as building partnerships with private and non-government sectors”.

He noted that global tourism in general has been painfully crippled by the restrictions of COVID-19 pandemic as it suffered unimaginable, and perhaps irrecoverable, losses at the beginning of the new decade.

International tourist arrivals in January to May 2020 decreased by as much as 56 percent compared to the pre-pandemic levels of 2019–the significant drop tantamount to a staggering loss of about $910 billion to $1.2 trillion in exports from tourism based in the August 2020 study by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNTWO).

The same report also noted that about 100 to 120 million direct tourism jobs are at risk of dissolution and 1.5 percent to 2 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP) lost due to the widespread lockdowns and travel restrictions–the Asia-Pacific Region suffered the greatest reduction in tourist arrivals at 60 percent, hence a renewed and revitalized regional strategy for tourism recovery and sustainability is are definitely needed now according to Tolentino.

As with any other recovery phase in the aftermath of any crisis, he stressed that the restoration of normalcy in the life of the people in the community “will require reassessment and re-designing of policies, plans, and programs in order to speed up rehabilitation”.

“The call for governments in the Asia Pacific region is to unite in vision and take coordinated action to ensure that COVID-19 impacts on tourism are managed and recovery strategies gather support for effective implementation of a more sustainable tourism development blueprint for the future,” he explained.

“Countries need to develop collaborative systems across borders to safely resume travel, restore traveler and business confidence, stimulate demand and accelerate tourism recovery,” Tolentino concluded.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.