Revitalizing and strengthening the tourism industry is a primary ingredient in “jumpstarting” the pandemic-stricken economy across the Asia-Pacific Region, Sen. Francis Tolentino said.
Addressing the 30th annual meeting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum in Bangkok, Thailand, the Philippine senator said the need to revive the tourism industry among nations across Asia-Pacific requires policy response, not only to address the demands of a re-awakened tourism industry, but as well as to meet current and emerging needs.
“The future of Asia-Pacific tourism shall be largely shaped by the policy response of today. An integrated regional tourism policy for the Asia Pacific Region will be essential as the policies and actions of one country may have implications on the policies and actions of another,” Tolentino said.
He noted that applying “enabling legislation” will play a crucial element in establishing a more adaptive Asia-Pacific tourism economy—one that will be vibrant, diverse, and inclusive, adding that
having a sustainable tourism for the region “will entail expanded collaboration not only among national governments, but as well as building partnerships with private and non-government sectors.”
The global tourism in general, he said, has been painfully crippled by the restrictions of COVID-19 pandemic as it suffered unimaginable, and perhaps irrecoverable, losses at the beginning of the new decade.
International tourist arrivals in January to May 2020 decreased by as much as 56 percent compared to the pre-pandemic levels of 2019—the significant drop tantamount to a staggering loss of about $910 billion to $1.2 trillion in exports from tourism based in the August 2020 study by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNTWO). Macon Ramos-Araneta