10 Years Later, Celebrating The Impact Of The Philippine Tourism Act
Kier Neil Francisco | October 11, 2019
The Department of Tourism celebrated the Republic Act 9593’s 10th anniversary on 27 September 2019 at the new Museo de Intramuros, Manila. I was given a chance to be invited and help commemorate the Tourism Act – which was signed into law on 12 May 2009, by then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and was authored by Senator Richard J. Gordon and 1st District of Bohol Representative Edgar M. Chatto.
To pay homage, the Department of Tourism launched its latest campaign called The Tourism Decade. Releasing its latest AVP and microsite which showcased the amazing stories of the Filipinos whose lives were made better and positively transformed by the tourism industry and the R.A. 9593. I, for one, could say that this AVP took me on an adventure. It gave me a rollercoaster of emotions, from excitement, patriotism, and happiness which warmed my heart.
Another highlight is the preview of Onward: The Philippines Tourism Decade Exhibition at the former site of San Ignacio Church and an outdoor interactive installation in Plaza Roma, both located inside Intramuros’ historic walls. The project is a testament to tourism’s impact on Filipino lives. The industry is seen, felt, and experienced not just by travelers, but also by those whose lives have significantly improved since 2009 because of tourism. The exhibition is not only a celebration of these 10 victorious years, but it is also an affirmation that we should continue to take the right steps forward, onward.
“The Tourism Decade celebration is an event not only to commemorate the law, but also to honor the travel industry’s contributions to the improvement of the lives of the Filipino people, and to bring attention to tourism’s functions as an engine of investment, employment, growth, and national development,” said DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat in her keynote speech.
In fact, since the implementation of the Tourism Act in 2009, foreign arrivals have grown more than doubled, from 3 million in 2009 to 7.1 million individuals by the end of 2018. Domestic tourism expenditure also grew from PhP 508.8 billion in 2009 to PHP 3.2 trillion last year.
As a Filipino and a traveler, news like this is truly remarkable. The Department of Tourism is not only focusing on creating new ways of showcasing the beauty of the Philippines to the people but it is also developing a highly competitive and environmentally sustainable tourism industry that creates jobs and opportunities for Filipinos, bringing inclusive growth to all, and continuing to be a major component in building our nation.