Events And Nightlife

ATOP's 17th National Convention on Tourism

Choose Philippines
Choose Philippines | Oct 05, 2016

The country’s gains in the booming tourism industry takes center stage once again as the Association of Tourism Officers in the Philippines (ATOP) holds its 17th National Convention set at the Royce Hotel and Casino at the Clark Special Economic Zone in Pampanga, Oct. 4-7.

The three-day meet has the theme “Tourism for All: Promoting Universal Accessibility” based on the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s thrust of providing accessibility for all to tourist facilities, products, and opportunities especially to persons with disability (PWDs).

ATOP, the national group of local tourism officers, was formed in 2000 to promote the culture of tourism in the community level.

The confab kicks off on Oct. 4 with the Mekeni Malaus ka Pampanga Welcome Dinner hosted by Governor Lilia Pineda.

Sen. Maria Lourdes Nancy Binay, chair of the Senate Committee on Tourism, will keynote the event on Oct. 5 as she talks on “Legislative Programs and Agenda on Philippine Tourism”.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Regina Paz Lopez will tackle environmental tourism in relation to the World Tourism Day theme, while International School for Sustainable Tourism president Mina Gabor will discuss the salient features of the Farm Tourism Act of 2016.

The gathering will also recognize the Best Tourism Event, Best Tourism Week Celebration of local government units and the Most Outstanding Tourism Officer through the prestigious DOT-ATOP Pearl Awards in a gala dinner hosted by the Department of Tourism-Region 3 and the Tourism Promotions Board.

Tourism Secretary Corazon Wanda Corazon Teo will deliver her message through Undersecretary Alma Rita Jimenez, which will underscore the Duterte administration’s tourism thrust in line with its ten-point agenda.

According to ATOP National President Alphonsus Tesoro, the convention will focus on the local application of the UNWTO’s declaration on universal tourism, which was also adopted by the Department of Tourism.

He noted that local government units are in the forefront in making tourism accessible to all, especially to PWDs, elderly, women and children, and disadvantaged sectors, by putting in place relevant legislation and guidelines.

The barrier-free tourism criteria are now incorporated in the new accommodation standards of the DOT for hotels, resorts and apartment hotels, which LGUs are helping implement.

The annual meet will also feature talks on best tourism practices, especially environment-friendly programs which are worth replicating across the country. Mabalacat City Mayor Marino Morales will host a hiphop dinner at the Clarkfield Parade Grounds on Sept. 5.

As part of its immersion program, the delegates will tour Pampanga’s farm tourism spots, Eco-tourism sites, museums, heritage spots, adventure parks, creative industries, tourism-related enterprises, and get to taste the province’s well-loved cuisine.

Hosting the community immersion are the local government units of the municipalities of Apalit, Arayat, Bacolor, Candaba, Guagua, Lubao, Macabebe, Magalang, Masantol, Mexico, Minalin, Porac, San Luis, San Simon, Sasmuan, Sta. Ana, Sta. Rita, Sto. Tomas, City of San Fernando, and Angeles City.

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