Starting today until January 27, the Department of Tourism (DOT) is holding the 2nd Hybrid Philippine Education Tourism Conference (PETC) in Clark, Pampanga, to strengthen its promotion of the Philippines.
“Among the biggest challenges we face today is how to effectively provide students with their learning requirements. Because of the pandemic, teachers, students, and schools had to shift quickly to digital forms of instruction,” Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said.
“Despite this difficult educational environment, we have to continue equipping our students with the necessary skills to succeed in an unpredictable world, which requires innovation and a strong support network,” she added.
Led by the DOT through its Office of Product and Market Development (OPMD), the two-day conference aims to further develop English as a Second Language (ESL), which is considered the country’s key education tourism product.
The OPMD has been promoting it since 2013.
“The Department of Tourism will continue to conduct activities that will further the growth of the education tourism industry and assist our stakeholders,” Romulo-Puyat stated.
She also disclosed that before the pandemic, the Philippines was the world’s fifth-largest ESL provider.
The PETC will showcase to local and international students the short-term online and offline education tourism programs offered by Philippine institutions in the new normal.
This is to improve the country’s position not only as an ESL hub but also as a multi-faceted education tourism destination.
The event will also invite local and foreign education tourism authorities to share their expertise on marketing strategies that will help local institutions make their offerings more appealing to international students.
Invited experts will tackle topics relevant to stakeholders such as international mobility, the latest education requirements for international students, and best practices of neighboring countries that local institutions can adopt to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.
Another major component of the PETC will be the virtual business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) networking activities slated on January 28.
This aims to provide opportunities for stakeholders and key players to renew or forge new partnerships and exchange ideas and education trends.
The first-ever PETC was first organized by the DOT in July 2019 at the Jpark Island Resort & Waterpark in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu. The two-day event was attended by over 350 participants from ESL schools, colleges, universities, associations, and government agencies.