Naga, DOT to team up for tourism accreditation
Photographs | Randy Villaflor
|WARM SMILES. Naga’s many tourist attractions as well as world-class accommodation and amenities make it a premiere destination for domestic and international visitors, prompting the City Government to ensure quality services by the tourism industry.|
EARNING THE PRAISES OF DEPARTMENT of Tourism (DOT) Regional Director Maria “Nini” Ravanilla, the City Government, under Mayor John G. Bongat, is gearing up for the accreditation of primary tourism establishments operating in the city, in line with Naga’s flagship tourism strategy “Naga SMILES to the World ”.
Mayor Bongat issued Executive Order 2011-005 last February 9 to support the DOT’s efforts in having primary tourism enterprises accredited.
R.A. 9593 or the “Tourism Act of 2009” calls for an accreditation program to ensure that tourism-related businesses comply with high levels of standards. According to Mayor Bongat, the substantial increase in tourist arrivals to Naga City and Camarines Sur calls for the urgent need to ensure that the tourism industry offers quality services and products.
Several cities in Bicol have already sought the DOT’s assistance but Naga is the first local government unit (LGU) to institutionalize the accreditation process thru the executive order. Director Ravanilla expressed delight over Mayor Bongat’s initiative, saying that it will help local tourism establishments improve their services
“The accreditation of tourism enterprises is a crucial step towards expanding tourism and cementing Naga’s status as a premiere tourism destination city,” Mayor Bongat says. “Helping our local tourism-related businesses improve their quality of service and products should come hand in hand with our aggressive marketing and promotions efforts,” he adds.
The executive order enumerates the step-by-step process of implementing the provisions of the “Tourism Act of 2009”. The Act’s Implementing Rules and Regulations also calls on the DOT to help LGUs “monitor and administer tourism activities, and enforce tourism laws, rules and regulations” (Rule VII, Chapter 1, Sec. 124 of IRR). In addition to the IRR, and in true Naga City fashion, Mayor Bongat included a provision for direct consultation with owners of tourism enterprises and a comprehensive education campaign to highlight the value of accreditation.