Speech by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at the Celebration of 50 Years of Philippine Tourism
Thank you very much to our Tourism Secretary, Secretary Christina – [Please take your seats.] Secretary Christina Frasco; also with us is the Cebu 5th District Representative and Deputy Speaker Congressman Duke Frasco; the former secretaries of the Department of Tourism… And I was just thinking that we really have to say that if we achieve anything today, it is because we stand on the shoulders of giants. So thank you for all the service that you have given the Philippines [applause]; all my fellow workers in government; other distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen, good evening.
I am delighted to join you tonight on – this is a very momentous occasion, celebrating the Golden Anniversary of the Department of Tourism.
In the past five decades, the Department has been at the forefront in promoting the beauty of our country and an active advocate of developing a stronger sense of pride amongst Filipinos.
Over the years, the Department of Tourism has institutionalized an industry that became a major driver of economic growth and shaped our global trademark.
Indeed, the potential of the tourism industry as an economic pillar was well seen by my father when he established the Department of Tourism in 1973.
And by the way, I’d also like to acknowledge the family members of Manong Pepito Joe Aspiras who was the first secretary of Tourism [applause] upon the creation of the department.
Carrying this optimism forward, I am affirming my commitment to advancing this country’s tourism industry.
This prioritization goes deeper than merely stimulating economic activities and generating job opportunities.
It springs from the genuine love that you, me, and all of us have for the Philippines.
And what better way to express that love than by directly incorporating it into our country’s newest tourism campaign slogan: “LOVE the Philippines.”
This is new branding which we unveiled today. It will serve as our guidepost for the Philippine tourism industry moving forward.
Allow me then to express my sincere appreciation to Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco and for the DOT Team.
Because aside from the promotion of the country’s tourist destinations, the campaign that you have conceptualized aims to enhance the overall experience of every traveler.
Included in that list of targets are to promote regional products, build more infrastructure for ease of travel, and champion green movements, amongst others.
These plans are laid down in detail in the National Tourism Development Plan for 2023 to 2028 which was approved last March.
The five-year plan stemmed from this Administration’s determination to implement programs that will positively transform our country towards being a tourism powerhouse in Asia in the coming years.
Let us therefore strive to translate our golden vision into reality, which also encapsulates this year’s milestone theme of GINTO or “Greater Innovations, New Tourism Opportunities.”
Let this serve as our inspiration as we continue to recover from the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, to which the tourism sector was undoubtedly one of the hardest hit.
Thankfully, strengthened by our communal spirit and fueled by our Filipino determination and passion to serve, we were able to bounce back and to recuperate.
Time and again, we continue to validate that resilient spirit of the Filipinos – that is the ultimate driving force which gives us the strength and courage to continue to always move forward.
With that being said, I am happy to see the latest data on the status of our tourism sector. We continue to see improving figures in tourism revenues, employment, international arrivals, and domestic trips.
All of these are encouraging signs that the tourism industry and our country, as a whole, is headed well towards full recovery.
It also conveys a strong message to the world that we are ready and fully equipped to welcome tourists, travelers, as well as investors.
To further highlight the Department’s achievements and triumphs over the years, we are graced by the presence of our former DOT secretaries.
This anniversary celebration is also dedicated, of course, to the employees, both the previous and current workforce of the DOT and its attached agencies all over the country. All this is a product of your hard work. Thank you. [applause]
You are the main drivers in the promotion of our beautiful country. I urge you to continue in your role in sustaining the momentum that we have built towards improving our tourism landscape.
Moreover, this night is also about honoring our partners in the private sector and our other tourism stakeholders.
To everyone in the industry who offer their services to our guests; to our travel agents, to our hotel staff, airline crews, boat operators; everyone who welcomes our tourists with their warm and bright smiles to make certain that they have a great and memorable experience —maraming, maraming salamat sa inyong lahat. [applause]
The genuine warmth of the Filipino people is indeed our greatest asset. The hospitality that we extend the visitors—both local and foreign—is a unique characteristic that is innately embedded in the social fabric of being a Filipino and it is something that we should all be very proud of.
Thank you for supporting the various government projects and for strictly complying with our laws which aim to protect and promote the overall welfare of our country.
Let us maintain this partnership. Keep introducing the Philippines to the world as a top-tier tourist hub.
On that note, I call on the entire Filipino nation to allow yourselves to be our country’s tourism ambassadors.
I enjoin you all to be our country’s promoters, advocates, and if I may borrow a coined term in this age of social media— be our country’s top “influencers.”
Indeed, the Philippines will never run out of places to discover, of meals to enjoy, adventures to experience, people to meet, [and] talents to admire.
Let’s take pride and celebrate the love we have of our country and our people; for it is the same love that gave meaning to the establishment of the Department of Tourism, and the same love that will propel our tourism industry moving forward into the future.
Once again, happy 50th Anniversary to the Department of Tourism!
Maraming, maraming salamat sa inyong lahat. Magandang gabi po sa inyong lahat. [applause]
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SOURCE: PCO-PND (Presidential News Desk)