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November 2, 2018

SUSTAINABLE TOURISM 101

We’re happy to hear that the Department of Tourism (DOT) secretary is advocating the new bible on Sustainable tourism. Who needs another Boracay experience—of businesses gone sour because of reckless operations and haphazard construction only to be closed for six months or longer? Or of not knowing if you will ever still operate and recover?

Surely no business person needs another Boracay lesson. This is why one needs to know where to start clean and on the right foot. Luckily, Davao has engaged Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) with no less that its CEO Randy Durband to come and speak about this yardstick and make sure we come up with the correct standards for tourist areas.

Randy Durband

The Sustainable Tourism forum happens on Nov 5-7, 2018 at the Sinamay Room of Seda in Davao through the efforts of the DOT Regional Office and the Sustainable Tourism Guru Susan Santos de Cardenas. Susan asked us to share the topics of our successful conference in Coron many years ago. At the time Coron was importing all its produce (vegetables and fruits) from Puerto Princesa. When I came back to Coron early this year, I was happy to see not a few local organic vegetable gardens supplying the local restaurants.

Further Coron now has a “water bottle” that’s given to every tourist and can be refilled at water stations for just five pesos! I hear the Initiative can remove about two million plastic water bottles annually from Palawan’s (or even just Coron’s) garbage dump. This is, of course, contrary to an archaic DOT guideline for hotels to provide two bottles of mineral water in every room!

This is why DOT and GSTC must work together to harmonize DOT rules from yore that do not comply with today’s sustainability guidelines.

We’re excited to work with government and private sector to finally prevent another Boracay lesson and to proactively bring Sustainable Tourism within reach—for private enterprises and for government to also align its directives with what has worked in many parts of the world.

Join us from November 5-7 in Davao. Email sstdiorg@gmail.com to reserve seats.

 

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