Welcome Travelers: Setting the stage for tourism boom
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[Music] so they can keep creating sustainable solutions that move us forward [Music] so they can keep moving forward with businesses that do good parasiting so they can keep making lives better for their families and for our society [Music] we can keep moving forward with good energy [Music] let's keep moving the philippines forward [Music] good morning everyone thank you for tuning in to the inquirer project rebound webinar series presented by the philippine daily inquirer my name is doris dimlau abadilia inquire business features editor and with me is truel de vera from enquire lifestyle who will be my co-moderator for this live stream event the philippine daily inquirer and its sister companies introduced this campaign last year prompted by the desire to share inspire and empower filipinas now on its second year we are leveling up and drilling down on key sectors that will be crucial to the philippines continued recovery from the twin public health and economic crisis brought about by the coveted 19 pandemic let's watch this [Music] [Music] [Music] good afternoon my name is ruel s devera and we will have an open q and a segment later on for our speakers to answer whatever question burning questions you may have on what is on the horizon for tourism so please do leave your questions or feedback in the comments section of the webinar's live stream or on the project rebound or the inquirer.net pages so doris we have a lot of great guests today but before that i think you have a little something special for our readers and our guests and our viewers to hear about yeah um i for one really i'm very excited to travel again and i wonder if you've made any any plans to travel in the future in the immediate future oh yes i have a lot of things on my mind for going especially locally i think that this is the best time to think about where you'd like to go and we can only like look at the travel goals that other people have already started listing down with other parts of the country so it's only right that we ask our guests today what's coming up for tourism in the country yes and before we introduce our guests we would like to give an exclusive offer for our viewers you can get a free 30-day trial of the philippine daily inquirers digital edition inquirer plus we are flashing the details on your screen so you can see how to get this free trial you can also visit shopinquire.com.ph to know more about inquire plus we would also like to inform our viewers that your most trusted newspapers digital version inquirer plus has a special promo for you get a huge discount on any of the annual plans of inquirer plus when you subscribe today to avail of the promo go to inc dot news slash rebound promo and use the code project rebound now doris it is time to introduce our esteemed guests for today's exciting session our keynote speaker is tourism under secretary woodrow r.r mckeeling yusek rr is no stranger to the philippine travel and tourism industry he comes from a family of public servants in the magueta city he debuted in government service a city tourism officer in the magetta city where he carved out a name for himself for six years in 2017 he joined the office of the president working as a staffer and then as director of the office of the appointment secretary until president duterte appointed him as director for at the department of tourism in june 2019. after being designated as oic assistant secretary in october 2021 he was appointed by the president as under secretary for tourism development planning sector and was assigned to head the domestic tourism task force good afternoon music rrr i am doris good afternoon sir welcome gonna happen before we move on to our next speaker go ahead you secretary oh should we introduce all the speakers here no no no no no no no all right thank you thank you so much i'm supposed to um forget to give my uh speech now on behalf of the secretary hang on i'd like to say hi to sir bob also i think he's here of course hi hello you said all right good afternoon everyone thank you very much uh for this invitation to be part of the welcome travelers setting the stage for tourism boom as part of the pdis advocacy campaign project rebound aimed at providing valuable information to help the economic recovery of the country before that i'd like to acknowledge my fellow um colleagues in the industry of course sir bob joseph who's live from cebu chairman of pata we also have um our new dcoo for marketing and promotions of the tourism promotions board we have charles bautista sir david rafael of our of employees and sir joel palmer good afternoon on behalf of our tourism chief secretary bernadette i have the honor to greet everyone present here virtually for taking the time to join this online forum where we can all seriously talk about the promising business prospects of travel and tourism in the post kovit 19 or what we now call the new and better normal i said promising because after almost two years in the dark we are now back in the market again so to speak with international arrivals at as of today nearly 450 000 already since we have reopened our borders last february then as one of the first countries in asia to open its borders to international travel with at least one of the most relaxed entry protocols including quarantine free entry we have already seen many local destinations bounce back and are now bursting at seams businesses have reopened people have worked again and proven cases you know on the downtrend as i would describe it we are slowly shifting from pandemic to pandemic mindset first and foremost the dot aimed to implement people-centered recovery initiatives in response to the changing needs of the stakeholders and the markets as the world entered into the second year of the pandemic the department has proheaded the updating of the tourism response and recovery plan which focused on mitigating the impacts of the pandemic by delivering financial assistance programs to workers and businesses alike in need while upscaling efforts towards the safe recovery of tourism markets it is based on the principles of three seats convergence collaboration and cooperation with public and private sectors working hand-in-hand in light of the pandemic we had to take a really good look at the industry and re-evaluated our strategies and targets we set for ourselves as laid out in a country's tourism roadmap the national tourism development plan of 2016-2022 building on the pivot to domestic tourism the dot worked tirelessly to nurture pride of place and by a negan among filipinos to restore the jobs and livelihoods of those who have been displaced by the pandemic despite the speed bump called omicron travel and tourism continued people's desire to travel was one of the few bright spots for us the growing demand for travel particularly domestic even during the pandemic is highly evident in the philippines and abroad as revealed by the studies consumers are willing to travel and spend during the pandemic for their own sanity their priority concern is safety of course at the same time communities are plagued with fear from transmission of the disease by the visitors and by the tourism workers does the dot work hard to address this fear among visitors enterprise owners and the host communities removing this fear is key to protecting the jobs of those who remain to be part of the industry and to restore the jobs lost during the pandemic due to the pandemic since the start of the pandemic tourism workers emerged as front liners in the battle against coughing the tourism chief strongly advocated for the inclusion of the tourism frontliners especially those who continue to demand ports of entry and those who serve at accommodation establishments that have been repurposed as quarantine facilities in the priority today every tourism worker in the country is fully vaccinated and mostly are boosted thanks to the massive and robust drive of the department together with other agencies to inoculate everyone in the tourism value chain but what really jumpstarted for domestic travel was when people started to see tourism establishments adopt the voluntary certification scheme called safety seal certification that affirms an establishment is compliant with the minimum public health standards set by the government and uses and integrates its contact tracing to stay safe ph the whole of government effort and whole of society coordination certainly built travel and consumer confidence and new ensuring that health and safety of both tourists and tourism workers and host communities are given premium in the tourism recovery the dot if i may share had a travel survey in 2020 revealed high willingness for multi-destination travel extended trips and openness to integrate remote work and leisure or work haitian the motivations of international travelers include more than quarantine needs fun enjoy to need to enjoy because life is short or simply to make a cancelled choice the same survey highlighted the need to diversify and customize products and experiences the diversification entailed featuring environmental and social and sustainability this meant aiming for more open spaces high value low density curated experiences and low impact tourism customization and curation focus on addressing needs of specific market segments and creating value to the experience to respond to this market trends and preferences particularly domestic tourism given the pivot to harness its potentials for tourism recovery the dod completed the validation and inspection of various tourist destinations the key objectives were to ensure compliance to minimum public health and safety protocols and to ensure the viability of offering attractions and destinations under the new normal we took a good look at our existing tourism circuits and products and improved and recalibrated them and even created new ones all together we undertook major development initiatives to improve products related to dive health and wellness food and culture sun and beach cruise education tourism among many others this saw 112 new and improved domestic tourism circuits nationwide in fact just recently um this month we launched the colors of mindanao which creatively packaged and create mindanao tourism destinations develop delivering on the promise of a complete travel experience that is richer deeper more authentic more competitive and ultimately more filipino we also took the opportunity to provide capacity building training for tourism workers such as tour guides and dive guides in order to boost or enhance the competitiveness of our destinations by going beyond making our sun and beaches our usual selling points to targeting new customers and new segments and expanding our market we get to go back to our competitive truck once more and it is our hope that you all you know bounce back well it is still a long way to go to reach the pre-pandemic numbers but the forecast for the evolution and passenger numbers gives good reason to be optimistic the international air travel association ayat expects overall passengers to improve 83 this year 94 next year 103 in 2024 and 111 in 2025 with domestic passenger numbers expected to improve far better with 93 this year interestingly domestic travelers who stayed in accommodation establishments reached 12.7 million in 2021.
the strategic shift to domestic tourism during the first year of the pandemic paved the way for the growth of 26 in 2021 with this evidence-based dod survey results of domestic markets travel behavior in the new normal the domestic travel will lead to the recovery of the country's tourism industry with filipino travelers expecting to go to the destinations closer to home and spending with lingering health concerns cosmetic from them these figures should give us enough prospects for travel and tourism today we are seeing the results of all our hard work both the public private sectors the recently concluded 21st global summit of the world travel and tourism council that the philippines hosted in manila gave us a glimpse of the rosy prospects for tourism recovery positioning the country in the world tourism map as a top of mind destination and affirms the role of the philippines as a leader in the safe reopening of tourist destinations the prestigious international organization wttc had some fearless forecasts on philippine tourism which i'd like to share it sees an average annual growth rate of 6.7 over the next 10 years exceeding the expected country's overall economy average growth rate of 5.6 in terms of tourism's intrinsic characteristic the jobs it will generate wttc forecast is that the employment will grow annually by an average of three percent over the next 10 years generating 2.9 million new jobs accounting for 21.5
of all jobs the philippines the fact remains that the tourism industry continues to be critically impacted by the coveted team the unwto experts provided recovery scenario by 2024 but the year 2022 or this year continues to be marked with relative uncertainties while some parts of the world remain closed and prospects for tourism recovery is high but one characteristic filipino trait emerged almost instantly the bayanihan spirit prevailed and enabled the global support for this destinations one thing is certain that the tourism industry will rise up stronger this year we are very bullish domestic tourism will continue to serve as our lifeline while international markets are expected to exercise caution due to uh you know the sub-variants the wttc remained optimistic that the global travel will be back at 88 and asia pacific will grow faster than other regions you know in closing i'm reminded of one author once said life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass it's about learning how to dance in the rain and that's what we did throughout these years of the pandemic we did not just sit down and frowned waiting for these fires to come to pass now the dod did not stop at cove at 18 together with other agencies in the private sector and we will not stop in exploring possibilities for travel to assume with great figure in the latter part of the year the good news is domestic tourism is very much alive it may rain and poor and it may even you know score but i am certain that our industry will time and again endure and keep going how however hard it may seem whatever it may take and however long a time it takes for us to stand up and we will always always hold on to our belief that we will rise up again stronger as one industry thank you and everyone and looking forward to this discussion later on thank you thank you secr for that very comprehensive overview of of the tourism industry really look forward to this rosi projections coming becoming a reality before we move on to our next speaker please be reminded that our speakers will attempt to answer questions you have on the future of tourism so please do not please do comment on this webinar's live stream on the project rebound or at the inquirer.net pages thank you uh yusek those were great shots um i can't wait to go to places like bohol and all these other places um you the photos just made me want to plan trips already uh and now our next speaker is joel talma a fisheries major from the university of the philippines mr jose angelito joel m palma started his career organizing a community of fishermen in laguna de bay joel handled the pawikan conservation project of the denr he joined wwf philippines in 1997 as project manager for the turtle islands project in tawitawi joel was a fellow on governance and environmental democracy at wolverhampton university in the united kingdom prior to his appointment as vice president for conservation programs he provided organizational directions and strategic interventions for both national and regional programs including being chair of the wwf's choral triangle initiative joel was appointed ceo in 2015 tasked with expanding the organization's conservation impact while providing inclusive and sustainable benefits to communities good afternoon joelle hi good afternoon thank you for for having me and inviting me i'll just like to uh attest to what uh eusek has mentioned that the local the local tourism uh industry is very much alive you know over the past two months i i had the chance to be in dunswall as well in last weekend i was in anilao and local tourists are everywhere and and i'm very glad that we're able to have that opportunity and to be part of it and i also see have seen the industry adapt you know in anila it's all diving and snorkeling but when i was there last weekend they were already doing free diving and um and thank you so in my presentation today um i think i'll go one step further because we're so happy and glad that we're able to be resilient and and be able to conquer uh the past two years of a pandemic and i think we're very successful given my experience the last two months going out in our um tourist destination but again in the next eight years we have deal with this and we have to deal with this now so my short presentation is a turning point for the planet towards sustainable uh unsustainable normal so when we say 2030 has been the benchmark here because we all know that scientists has mentioned next slide that mentioned that uh by 2030 if we are not able to address our environmental concerns uh we might be into a situation wherein we are in a state of um irreversibility so um welcome to the anthropocene this is where uh human activity has been controlling what's happening to our planet next slide where the economy tourism meets the environment you know i say do listen because uh correct me if i'm wrong our tourist experts are here youssec and and uh our colleague from pata that i think internationally and locally almost 10 percent of the economy is actually coming from tourism sector so tourism is a very important part of our economic development next slide so uh over the last 50 years we've seen the great acceleration of population gdp everything was going up but at the same time our factor our natural resources and uh the base for all of these are going down next slide i have seven minutes um everybody's so gung-ho about 2015 where in he had the paris agreement that we will try to limit the increase of temperature 1.5 degrees um 2015 after seven years the latest report is not a single country was able to adhere to its promise so we're looking at the increase of temperature of about one two to two point two to three centigrade and and this might have quite a devastating impact just lately last week i saw in the news that uh the biggest reef system in the world coral reef system in the world the great barrier reef was beach 90 of that almost 2 000 3 000 kilometers of reef in fact that receives them is is one it's so big that you can see it from the naked eye from the moon so 90 percent has been ditched and in the philippines uh marine diving has been one of the major attractions um at least uh i we had reports that tupata is still being good in in other parts of the country and now i know last weekend is still doing so but the increase in temperature will have uh uh quite devastating so our oceans ecosystems are are are on the line species and terrestrial ecosystems as well so we need something about climate change next slide next slide next slide hello you hear me hello hi where's the slide okay now disconnect uh we all know that about eight million metric tons of plastic is stamped with the sea and the philippines ranks third in terms of plastic pollution so i'll just look at my presentation in my phone so i can be guided just a minute and and you know um this is quite uh the impacts to to human uh health has been just confirmed that you know even to our bloodstreams streams scientists were able to find uh molecules of plastics because you know it takes about eight minutes to consume one bottle of you know plastic bottled water while it takes about 400 years before it degrades no so it just uh disintegrate into my plastic and this is what sort of we have been um ingesting uh as we eat and as we drink water so we have to do something about it and of course coming from the marine side it really doesn't help if you're going diving if you're extorting if if you have a big batch of plastic things going around next my other slide is food waste no um roughly one third of the food that's produced is wasted and i'm very glad you said that in my former organization i i stepped down the ceo in 2021 uh we've been working with dot on food waste with hotels and and and um quite interesting that with proper training um hotels and restaurants was able to reduce their food waste and and through this project called sustainable diner and this is in collaboration with you um the other slide is marine resources we all know that one of the major um attributes or or or to go to destinations um diving and we've seen quite uh about 30 percent of philippine colon resources was lost in the past 20 years because of bleaching and so goes with forest no so um at the end of the day we need to rebound for a sustainable new normal uh i'm very happy that um we're back and and as uh yusek has mentioned local economy the local tourist is the uh spam priming this recovery but we need to look forward and make sure that our operations for tourism facilities are made more sustainable you know we um i'm sure later we have speakers from from tourism organizations as well as developers that they're into sustainability efficiency as well as adaptation because this is very important because we all know the philippines is one of the most vulnerable countries to extreme climate events so we just need to forward and i'm quoting from the sustainable development paradigm of the world a u.n world tourism organization and i'd like to hope that tourism that takes full account to its current and future economies social and environmental impacts addressing the needs of the visitors the industry environment and the host community so let's make our uh rebound more sustainable because um the environment climate change and its impact is something that we have to address that our industry can be received thank you thank you joe thank you thank you joel for sharing that with us um i think that uh the biodiversity is a very important part um of the uh attraction of the philippines it's not just the beaches uh i like what you said about people now uh free diving not just snorkeling it's good to know that tu bataja is um doing better i myself am a little uh intimidated by the idea of going to don sol and swimming with the whale sharks but i would love to go back to dumaguete and i would love to see bohol and its biodiversity doris where would you like to go well this week and we'll go to puerto galera and although i'm not alone i'm not i'm not a diver myself but well i can snorkel so at least you have that i'm gonna i'm just gonna stay on the land uh for now and stare at the animals okay um in this discussion we will hear from our panelists about their reactions to yusek woodrow's keynote as well as their insights about setting the stage for the tourism boom okay our first panelist is the chairperson of pacific asia travel association roberto bob zozobrado bob yeah bob's work experience spans all components of the tourism industry starting as a tour desk clerk at the saint francis hotel in san francisco california then as account manager for pan um bob became director of sales of hyatt regency manila and later as general manager for thomas cope he moved further up the ladder as the managing director for thai airways gsa and then as country manager of northwest airlines gsa for the philippines and micronesia he taught tourism subjects in bi-schools and he was recently re-elected to another two-year term as chair of the philippines chapter of the pacific asia travel association he has received countless travel industry awards as well as teaching excellence awards hello bob hi there hello good afternoon everyone um thank you very much for including me in this very prestigious event and we at the pacific asia travel association are always very excited when we come across with events like this one because they highlight even further the importance of the tourism industry in our country's economy and i'm really looking forward to a very interesting discussion this afternoon especially because we have such an irritate panel of guest speakers that we have today thank you thank you did you want me to make some comments about the presentation of using rr or that comes later yeah we we can do it later okay all right um thank you bob our next uh panelist is uh mr charles bautista uh charles bautista is the current deputy chief operator for marketing and promotions for the tourism promotions board uh prior to joining tpb he was the former he was the department manager for communications and creative services of the center for international trade expositions and missions our site them he spent the last 14 years as a marketing public relations and business development executive in various industries including e-commerce tech pharmaceuticals his his hospitality advertising media and government wow while working he finished his law degree at the aureliano university school of law he also professionally he is also professionally certified and trained in the fields of digital marketing basic intelligence investigation leadership development change management and data analysis hello charles good afternoon everyone and thank you for having me in this amazing panel with some of the top people that i've looked up to for uh for a while and i'm really excited to talk more about where tourism is headed um the tourism promotions board is very excited to share with the world the different opportunities that lie with the philippines more especially now that we just recently concluded the world travel and tourism council global summit where i think just to add some good news to what you say r shared earlier is that um we just got a report that uh in our uk office of the dod tourism at the shade shared that for the uk market in particular when they are looking at uh a travel destination now for their upcoming summer the philippines is the number one asian destination that they're looking at so that's one really good indicator that wtc one was a success and we're really doing a good job in promoting the philippines in the european market so we are really looking forward to more opportunities with our international and domestic travelers to explore the different destinations we've reopened since since the start of the year you charles our next panelist is mr david rafael he is a respected real estate industry veteran who brings with him 30 33 years of extensive experience in the residential industrial and commercial segments over the course of his career he has held various leadership positions in some of the most well-regarded and successful real estate companies in the philippines and abroad joining abuetti's land as the president and ceo in 2019 he is at the forefront of the company's digital transformation journey with innovations focused on improving customer service and experience while embodying aberdeen's land's promise of creating better ways to live he holds an mba from the darden school of business at the university of virginia in the u.s and a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the ateneo de manila welcome welcome sir david good day everyone people have not been traveling for the past two years so they have decided to invest in homes outside of the metro just as tourism anticipates a rebound in 2022 let me share with you how real estate has rebounded amidst a pandemic today we will be zeroing in on agility and innovation two of the most critical values that drive avoid this land to its thriving business today i'm david rafael president and ceo of british land thus allow me to take you through how our team was able to successfully maneuver our way out of the unforeseen disruptions brought about by the health crisis but before anything else i would like to give you a background about aboy islam built on more than 25 solid years of real estate experience abuettis land is the residential property arm of the abuetes group one of the country's oldest and best managed conglomerates about this land has completed 10 legacy communities in cebu and is currently developing four horizontal projects across cebu and five across luzon and so quickly and to quickly introduce our master plan developments and so on we begin with seafront residences seafront residences is an award-winning beach community in batangas that promotes sustainability through its walkable design with seafront residences your primary home is also your vacation home next we have the villages at lipa a project called the project located at lima estates and avoids own integrated community economic center that lets you enjoy suburban lifestyle without missing city conveniences next ahoya is avoiding islands mid-market line of master-planned communities they are strategically located in pampanga parlock and way by sia in central zone an area that will soon be the center of much economic and business activity in the near future as the community quarantines our east the real estate landscape is now bound for rebound according to collier's philippines property outlook 2022 we have seen new trends in real estate emerge as a result of the pandemic the pandemic highlighted the importance of having amenities close to home with travel restrictions homeowners saw the need for bigger living spaces quality amenities safety and security even leisure features including green belts and parks for mental and physical health it is worth noting that houses and lots and residential art projects have captured great interest as preferences for the living setup has made horizontal development a new favorite for people that want amenities accessible daily supported with a boom of infrastructure development built by the government it is now more possible to live in new progressive cities outside of the metro without compromising comfort and convenience as the infrastructure continues to flourish so will local tourism and a buddhist land will be present to provide housing should tourists decide to settle in these areas the hybrid or digital that is physical and digital mode has influenced how we do things work study business the greatest lesson that we have learned through recovery is that agility and innovation moved organizations to quickly adapt and effectively execute at an accelerated speed as necessary just a month after lockdown we have managed to quickly and completely pivot to digital selling through technology we provide our visinos an enjoyable home buying experience from property search all the way to turnover to our contactless home buying service it empowers our buyers to continuously enjoy their home buying journey through a convenient safer and worry-free process vesino a spanish word for neighbor is aboyt island's term of endearment to its homeowners we have also invested in proprietary mobile application called aboytisland basino app to help track payments and purchase progress and services more efficiently and more conveniently our contactless home buying service and abueki sland vesino app continuously grow as a digital means of conducting business becomes a stable a staple across industries abortion is also ventured into strategic alliances with digital corporations to streamline back-end operations and provide clients with more flexible options these include acquire is a platform that provides more options for online payments nook a fully digital platform that helps aspiring home buyers to be matched with the right home loan programs in minutes at no extra cost and conovate for the supply of danish concrete precast panel technology that provides more durable and sustainable houses and shortens the house construction period into half the innovation risks that we took have been paying off abortion sales continue to perform strongly closing 2021 with 4.6 billion pesos worth of sales a 64 increase from 2020.
2022 is poised to bring in the best sales performance historically at 4.7 billion pesos buoyed by 2021's record-breaking performance and an economy bound for a rebound abuelita looks forward to the market's confidence in spending for homes outside of the city supporting local tourism rebound as well in summary about island's deeply embedded value of agility and innovation pushes our organization forward during times of uncertainty cultivating an innovative mindset accelerated and propelled our continuing digital and organizational transformation capitalizing on shifting markets and being in tune with the changing needs and concerns of our customer these are the key to not only surviving but rebounding from a pandemic thank you thank you david for sharing your insight on uh avoid this land and uh how the filipinos have been reacting from a uh infrastructure i guess um construction uh aspect of it um doris uh david was talking about how people have been investing more in uh uh housing and these things and i i do i do see these uh things i guess uh there are still people who are hesitant to uh get out there um but uh in in his keynote uh yusek woodrow talked about um how the filipinos have also begun um moving out of their comfort zone after being uh cooped up for so long and um even though metro manila uh is still in alert level one we have seen uh as woodrow has said uh an increase in the number of people willing and practically um chopping up chomping at the bit to get out there um and visit the other parts of the country and um they've also the country is ready uh to welcome them uh to the other parts uh and for the filipinos themselves to re-rediscover the country after being endorsed for so long we'd like to ask the speakers what you think about the idea that the filipinos are now uh ready to get back out there uh let's start with bob what do you think about the idea that the filipinos are ready to rediscover local tourism well i um actually uh took down notes uh when youssec rr made a presentation and i have to say that uh she i mean music rr made a complete presentation he always gives one anyway and um it's uh everything that he said is actually what's brewing in the tourism industry these days and i like what he said about for the transition from pandemic to spandemic because later on uh in our discussion i'd like to talk about uh revenge travel and that's what pandemic is all about you know and i also took notes of what yusek r mentioned about the new and improved 112 tourism circuits in the philippines because uh tourism stakeholders in the country especially after the pandemic they are now are aware that they have to redesign and redefine what they are offering because of the changes that the pandemic brought the changes in the travel style that changes in the travel preferences so travel agents and tour operators in the country will now have to redesign and redefine what they have to offer to tourists and i'm glad that the usa are mentioned the 112 new tourism circuits that are being offered right now and developed by the department of tourism and lastly he mentioned about fear that is still in the minds of travelers and i have to say i agree with that because the pandemic has instilled some degree of fear in others it could be greater in others not not that much but there's still the the element of fear in fact there was a a pr company in london that made a survey what happens uh if the virus is completely eradicated will you want and go ahead and go ahead with all your travel plans and you know what 25 of those surveys said no they will still stay home and watch out and observe and see if you know everything will do i will go on as as planned so there's still that element of fear so for all of you listening now filipinos that i want to encourage you to go out and travel and don't worry about anything let me give you a very nice quote and i'd like to say and i'd like to um repeat this quote for all of you it says everything that you want in life is on the other side of fear so that's all you have to do just remember everything you need everything you want just you know hurdle that fear and you'll enjoy life to the fullest that's all i can say thank you thank you bob see you sec how thought provoking your keynote speech was i i've heard us i've heard revenge travel before but pandemic uh is new to me so i like that um charles um would you like to chime in on this it's just adding on what was already said um i think in terms of filipinos specifically on being more open to traveling we are seeing a lot of demand from the filipino and the domestic market in terms of really really exploring the philippines but one particular behavior that we're seeing is that they're no longer as interested in the usual products that we offer and the usual destinations but they are looking in more curated and more exclusive destinations so you'll see that because the spending power is a lot more collectively with families you'll see a lot more families renting up an entire resort for their families bringing their extended families along you'll see more interest in destinations that are available or are accessible by road we are really ramping up our motorcycle tourism circuits across the different provinces and we're seeing strong feedback across the different regions in terms of the motorcycle tourism um programs that were that were doing across the different provinces and i think in terms of getting over the fear of kovid is that one thing that we keep on saying in the tourism promotions board is that there's no such thing as well at least for now uh the science says that there's no such thing as a postcoving era but rather a post-pandemic era kovid will most probably stay with us until the future but what we must do is that we should stop fearing the disease but rather respect it so what that means is being able to live with the virus being able to really comply with health and safety protocols when we travel being more aware with our health and being just being better advocates of a healthy lifestyle and making sure that when we travel we travel responsibly so those things are are very important measures for us to be able to control the spread of covid19 and most especially get yourself vaccinated get yourself boosted so that your health is always optimal when you're traveling in different destinations whether here or abroad thank you charles i really like the idea of being off the beaten track but on the road uh which is kind of like what you said people looking for different uh experiences and i also think that there's this interesting thing about how when people find out other people are now traveling they're sort of getting jealous now that people are traveling and it's like i want to travel too and they start thinking about that um let's go to joel joel uh what did you think about the points that uh yusek made earlier in his keynote well um yes uh i i totally agree that i think that the thing that will pump prime recovery is local and i've witnessed it twice you know when i was in those hole no rooms totally booked and that was only april 10 that was the 10th day of where uh dancehall opened no so uh people will be getting in and uh i i see and i also agree that you know uh using the road is better because even going to console we we drove rather than the road the plane for all these reasons so these are factors and and i i i think it's it's it's really good for the philippines to have local tourists as well although we welcome as a start as we go into this transition so um you know everybody just would like to go out breathe and be in the water open sea and take out their mask thank you thank you thank you i like that idea about uh people being like out and uh they're just wanting to see something beyond their walls david uh would you like to join us you know um i want to share a personal experience about this uh what the usac mentioned about really uh traveling for your just to save your own sanity uh actually i did that uh last january uh and uh i got infected i got omicron but it was worth it it was worth it i didn't mind at all no uh but uh even if i if i got infected but uh really i think traveling is a uh just getting out of your house is a it's a basic need uh you know of a human being it's like breathing air you know but anyway but relating it to real estate not to our experience with this whole pandemic as i for me i'd like to bring up two points long first which is uh relative to what i presented a while ago now we really believe that with this pandemic the mindset of people in terms of their home buying preference has really changed right uh you know work from home i believe it's going to be a permanent phenomenon it's not going to be temporary i think it's going to stay with us for ever and so because of that i think people now will no longer feel compelled to you know find a home in the near in near city buying these small condos for six seven million all because they want to be in the city near their home avoid the tr the hassles of travel right with work from home it's now possible for them to live outside the city in in pampanga in nearby you know emerging cities which is of course enabled by all of the available infrastructure so they still get to work they're still productive but at the same time their quality of life with their families has really uh really greatly improved and i think that's going to be the way the way real estate is going to be happening going forward that's one the second point i'd like to make is you know the one of the most i would say groundbreaking legislation of the third administration which was passed just recently was the uh the relaxed the passage of the public service act which opened up other industries to foreign ownership now now what i'm hoping is that perhaps with this move in the next administration it will go further and maybe open up ownership of land to foreigners now if that happens i think that uh the it'll be a great boost to tourism be a great booster because now these stores will not only think of coming here to spend just for leisure but to actually live here for good and make a living here and i think that would be very beneficial for investment and all that um that will be a very welcome development and i'm hoping that you know in this new administration it will go further uh in relaxing other areas of the economy to foreign ownership thanks yeah we're one of the few countries in the world with restrictions we touch foreign it's a very contentious issue no we're very mixed mix mixed view on on this aspect anyway uh coming back to our keynote i'd like to ask you sec during the pandemic uh you've mentioned that we we have been among the first to open our borders ease travel restrictions welcome foreigners but in terms of harmonization of regulations uh different destination areas because it depends on the lg use right how far are we when it comes to harmonization of um requirements for travelers like us when you go to baratheim it's different go to to cebu maybe it's different how far are we from harmonization thank you um i know where you're coming from i think we got a lot of the same concerns also especially yeah because you know um we are constraining the national government or the in fact because of the uh local government code of 1991 which uh you know restrictions and positions of such are really levitt to the local government units within the area of jurisdiction but this has been the battle cry of the secretary uh secretary bernard robert over the past year now to really push for a synchronized one if not synchronized then more aligned wind with the national government because um you know that's correct when you go to a certain area you're able to pass but when you go further to punch like if you pass by onion then you want to go to a low cost and you know there are a lot of restrictions but that has really been a you know a constant problem in the past good thing that more and more lgus are open-minded this year we can see that that travel domestically has been more smooth smoother this time around and i think that's relatively because more are you know uh there's less for fear from all of this from the pandemic caused by kuvin19 and more confident i mean more confident that um with the booster shots that's why in fact the secretary really brought a lot of vaccines to the islands now in fact if you go to if you're a foreigner then you're not yet vaccinated you just go to barack hillary you want to go there upon rail you get vaccinated so we went around the country to go to major destinations and now lesser destinations also a less known destinations to really get themselves not just vaccinated but boosted but that has been always coordinated with the department of local government uh in fact see secretary any works closely with zach bernard really like for instance um aside from aside from you know there's the travel restrictions from different lg's one concern is the carrying capacity so you know we have talking about sustainability from sir joel and it's very crucial the carrying capacity of certain islands in the country so we have to be very conscious on the carrying capacity for instance barack i for one time it reached more than the carrying capacity so we in the dot would want to really push for first responsible tourism and of course sustainability in our in everything we do especially as we reopen in fact um secretary worked very closely with the ilg to really impose such um restriction or cap to our destinations it's very important that we cannot go back i think i've seen it in your primer earlier the video that are we going back to a tourist field destination but i don't think we can i understand we have to have all these tourists for money for them to spend and for us to have all the to generate income to generate employment you know all of these things but we have to be more conscious and more better this time around and i think this has never happened in the past that the look that the different ages in the government were and you know talk to each other like every day now in the past so some silver lining to this pandemic um the different government agencies really talk to each other how important because of the iatf and stuff like that but yes it's a constant struggle but i think we have greatly improved already with our restrictions and mobility um within and from different uh local destinations in the country that's good and maybe charles can can add to that just to add to what yousek said um we are actually very much close to harmonization if you're going to look at a lot of the destinations that you're gonna visit in the philippines the requirements are basically the same it's your vaccination card and if you're not vaccinated it's your rtpcr test 48 hours before or an antigen test 24 hours before and in the health declaration form so generally in in most if not all destinations in the philippines already adopting these particular requirements um i think moving forward what we are doing in the tourism promotions board is to facilitate this particular transaction in a more seamless manner so that when you do travel in different destinations you don't have to keep on filling up forms you don't have to keep on resubmitting your documents uh working with the department of tourism that there is a promotions board the local government units uh department of health department of um interior and local government we want to make sure that when we're digitizing these particular processes we're able to make sure we take all the boxes because as much as we want to make it seamless for tourists we also want to make sure it's compliant with international standards for health it's also something that the local government is also comfortable with um so but again in terms of harmonization i think we're we're about 80 there if not if not more that's good that's good we are on news all right so i just wanted to ask um joel how bad did it really get i mean from uh from a fiscal perspective during the uh two years of the pandemic i mean for the tourism sector well um you know when i went to console and that's my first trip uh not working to console so i had the chance to really interview the the bhutan interaction officers the boat guides um it's really hard because like if you have a boat for a whale shark interaction you know for two years you did not run so most of them were basically nasira and their investments were really you know pencilla and then down the line like even today um in in pre-pandemic you you it's easy to to rent the masks fins and snorkel but now you cannot rent it out because of uh safety protocols so these are the things that uh you know people adjust to but they're just so happy and and and so excited that uh you know that was a that day when console opened when they went there that uh things are starting up um and you know last weekend i was in anilao a friend who owns a small resort you know they were really down for the last two years and and they're just picking up and you know he also stays there with the family stays in in anila already so you know uh as a requirement uh not even the lg we do antigen tests before entering the resort but still there's this caution and but everybody is really very very optimistic about how we can slowly uh recover recover as i said by um charles that you know um we won't you know actually do away with with kovid but we have to respect uh the pandemic and how to okay um just a couple of questions here i just really want to know uh right now what uh prob this is probably a good question um for uh charles and yusek what are the most uh popular tourist destinations and activities right now well i think with the overcrowding there in barack right now i think that's still really popular right now you know imagine that imagine two pacific they have 16 flights a day before pandemic they only have seven seven flights daily but now it's 16 flights like every 30 minutes there's like flight going to uh so basically that's uh you know baguio also and uh in the north we have the la union and lojos area and in the south of first calabarzon that used to be really strong especially result now with more open spaces you know based on the survey they love open spaces and you know so i think they're really good they're picking up also and we have in central luzon uh it's it's picking up also especially in pampanga and in subic right now charles would you want to add based on the on the request for uh free or because we use for for the for the tourists that are because the department of tourism the tourism promotions board offers um rtpcr testing for qualified tourists so a lot of the people who are interested in traveling are really more focused on again as i mentioned the nearby destinations that are accessible by cars so as mentioned by music so that central is on uh people going to ilocos people going to la union which has become a creative destination or hub for creatives um that's near the metro baguio is still very popular and for those who are flying the islands that they are looking at is really the the usual destination still so boracay is still popular but one interesting thing that we're we are seeing as i mentioned is that there are more people interested in lesser known destinations so we are seeing people who are interested in visiting coming in for example and looking at the different faults that we have there uh like asika falls which looks like uh a scene from uh avatar the movie or people who are more interested now in visiting antiques where you it used to be just a destination as uh you know from from uh regal films right um but now it's more popular with beach uh beach enthusiasts and people who are looking at cultural heritage sites so there there are a lot of these destinations that are picking up popularity um because of their virgin beaches they're untouched um cultural immersions uh or experiences that uh that's very authentic to who the province is so those are the things that i think are really pushing these newer destinations and also more to sir joel's point on sustainability because we have a lot more discerning and more conscious sustainability conscious tourists that are coming in the country they are looking at echo sites uh ecological sites that are really showcasing the best of what the philippines has to offer in terms of its natural resources and especially with our diving and spelunking experiences so those are the things that are really getting popularity uh in terms of tourist demand i'd like to pick up on that point on going to off off the beaten path and and being more mindful of the environment when you travel i think we ran a story about the rise of the enlightened traveler which was based on a study made by airbnb so do you think guys that that more and more travelers would be willing to pay a higher price for sustainability for for our travelers now maybe joel joel you can start um yeah i think it's it's there already uh just example will be tabata it's all even more the reef is like a hundred nautical miles right in the center of sunni sea and and this is the first year that um they opened and i heard it you know time boats are are fully booked you know um although at one point i think palau was a bit strict than other islands so uh but then again when they opened you know um basically a lot of people would really look into that and not just for locals but more also for the international market like indonesia pandemic i think the data for gonzol is that uh it's like almost half half half four and half uh locals there were certain point in time in the uh earlier stages of console there were more uh uh foreign tourists like in 2005 but it was not as popular before so of course there is there's a a great market for that even with the premium uh yes because the travelers these days they just don't want to pay for services what they want they want to pay for a unique experience and you know um i was very surprised i was at pico del oro the other day and i'm surprised that they offer mangrove tours and so i said to myself i said who'd be interested in that you know but they said no every day they have guests lining up to join the mangrove tours and you know and it's it's very uh so i tried it i tried it myself and definitely it was such a unique experience i mean looking at all those uh all those mounds on the on this you know where you pass where the crabs uh get in and stay and it's very interesting i found it very interesting so all these things uh are now popular with tourists because they have now diverted their attention to something visual from something visual now to something more that they can experience emotionally physically and so they'll they'll they'll pay for that you're a property developer and also with a focus on sustainability so you are you seeing more and more demand for sustainable products yeah okay i think you know the the issue of sustainability climate change i think no doubt um it's gotten a wider awareness i think the the problem of before i mean for you know it was it was very abstract but now i think uh when you talk climate change when you talk sustainability it's really become a very real issue you know and uh and it's not just a property but in every industry every industry is thinking about sustainability you know uh but of course really the the the issue really is um is really the cost no the cost how do you you know the how do you transition to a world an economy a situation and whether it be in t