Boosting Sustainable Tourism DOT Rolls Out Nationwide Training Program with AIM & ATOP

In a landmark move to promote sustainable tourism across the Philippines, the Department of Tourism (DOT) has launched an innovative training program for tourism officers in partnership with the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) and the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP). The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for this initiative was signed at the DOT Central Office in Makati City on February 15, heralding a new era of eco-conscious travel and tourism management in the country.

Under the guidance of DOT Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco and ATOP National President Junel Ann Divinagracia, this collaboration aims to empower tourism officers from various local government units (LGUs) with the knowledge and tools to integrate sustainability principles into all facets of tourism development. The initiative underscores the Marcos administration’s commitment to equitable tourism development and promotion nationwide.

Training for a Greener Future

The Sustainable Tourism Development Training (STDT) program, a brainchild of this partnership, is set to offer a comprehensive curriculum focusing on sustainable policymaking, planning, management, and product development in tourism. This initiative aligns with the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) 2023-2028, emphasizing the importance of sustainable practices in achieving long-term tourism goals.

Secretary Frasco highlighted the crucial role of local tourism officers in this endeavor, stating, “Our tourism officers, who know the actual situation on the ground, can be potent partners in practically implementing the principles of sustainability that govern our National Tourism Development Plan.”

A Two-Part Educational Journey

The STDT program is divided into two parts to ensure a thorough understanding and application of sustainable tourism concepts:

  1. Part 1 involves a one-month self-paced online course, culminating in a two-day onsite session at AIM scheduled for April 17 to 18, 2024. This phase is designed for tourism officers, DOT Regional and Central Office representatives, focusing on the development of sustainable program, activity, and project proposals.
  2. Part 2 is a four-day onsite program at AIM for DOT Executives and Management Committee, Regional Directors, and Central Office representatives, aimed at refining and ensuring the feasibility of proposals from Part 1 in line with sustainable development goals.

A Collaborative Effort for Sustainability

This program not only emphasizes the DOT’s dedication to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and other international sustainability frameworks but also showcases the power of collaboration between government, academic institutions, and industry organizations in fostering sustainable tourism practices.

“The only way that you can really assure that sustainability principles are implemented on the ground is if you seek the experience and knowledge of the people on the ground – our tourism officers – and partner them with the DOT Central Office and our academe,” Secretary Frasco remarked.

Through this initiative, the DOT, AIM, and ATOP are setting a precedent for sustainable tourism development in the Philippines, aiming to preserve the natural beauty and cultural heritage of tourist destinations for generations to come.

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