Baguilat urges Filipinos to prioritize local travel

>> Saturday, April 29, 2017

The summer months are time when tourism hits its peak and Ifugao Representative Teddy Brawner Baguilat urges Filipinos to prioritize local travel over going overseas to boost economic activity in the countryside while learning more about why it is more fun in the Philippines.
Baguilat said tourism is an industry that promotes inclusive growth, a key objective of the Duterte administration, as the revenues are enjoyed by a long supply chain that includes the local hotels, restaurants, tour guides, food establishments, souvenir producers, private tour operators and the local government units.
“Local travel means more money going to our fellow Filipinos in the tourism trade and gives the locals more reason to preserve our cultural heritage and our natural wonders,” Baguilat said.
In Ifugao, for example, Baguilat and his family are supporting a group of weavers in the World Heritage Site of Kiangan. The objective is for the weavers to earn enough from their products such as tablecloths to encourage the younger generation to take up the craft.
At the same time, Baguilat has urged the government to address concerns such as peace and order and infrastructure bottlenecks to make it easier for both local and foreign tourists to travel to these destinations, including his home province of Ifugao, home of the famous Ifugao Rice Terraces.
“A study has shown that our tourism competitiveness has dipped because of concerns such as security and this may have an effect on the arrival of tourists from abroad. Locals should take up the slack by visiting local spots and helping the domestic economy,” Baguilat said. 
He added that while traveling abroad helps widen one’s horizon, local travel provides extra benefits like directly contributing to the improvement in the lives of fellow Filipinos who depend on tourism revenues for their livelihood.
“It would also do us well to know our country first. It would be unfortunate if we would know more about other countries than our own,” Baguilat said.
Tourism is a significant contributor to the Philippine economy, contributing some P2.85 trillion in 2016, or 19.7 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product, based on the latest report of the World Travel and Tourism Council.
The industry covers hotels, travel agents, airlines, passenger transportation services, restaurant and leisure industries, and directly supports 2.2 million jobs or 5.5 percent of total employment.


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