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Bangon Tours to rebuild lives!

Tourism revenues to rebuild travel destinations ravaged by Haiyan. New approach is being spearheaded by the Department of Tourism

Source: Gilbert P. Felongco, Correspondent, 12/7/13, Gulf News

For every peso local tourists shell out, part of it will go to rehabilitating areas destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan’s onslaught in Central Philippines.

This is the new approach being spearheaded by the department of tourism (DoT) to rebuild travel destinations ravaged by Haiyan (Typhoon Yolanda).

The economies of these damaged areas rely heavily on the service sector, mainly tourism, to survive. Hence, need to revive its travel sector.

International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that 2.8 million out of the 5.6 million workers employed in Central Philippines, who have either temporarily or permanently lost their livelihoods, were working as restaurant workers, vendors, motorcycle rickshaw and passenger jeep drivers, among others.

The DOT and its marketing arm, the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) introduced its, “Bangon Tours” (Revive) project titled “Your Vacation Means a Lot”.

The project is in line with the government’s recovery and rebuilding efforts for the victims and survivors of calamities through the promotion of domestic tourism.

“It is an invitation to travel within the Philippines during the holiday period (December 1 to February 28), visit our fun destinations and participate in rebuilding efforts,” the TPB said.

TPB chief operations officer, Domingo Ramon Enerio III, said that participating tourist establishments are initially offering special tour packages to 16 tourist destinations nationwide and more destinations will be added.

TPB, however, noted that Bangon Tour offerings will not be limited to these destinations.

“These establishments are being asked to share at least five per cent of their net income from the tour packages / room nights sold via Bangon Tours,” Enerio said in a statement.

“The share will be directly given to the company’s chosen non-government organisation or charitable foundation involved with the disaster-affected communities,” he added.

Enerio extended the invitation to foreign travellers also, as it can contribute to the rebuilding efforts. The storm-hit nation aims to achieve its goal of registering 45 million domestic travellers for 2014.

Locally known as Typhoon Yolanda, the weather disturbance whipped up category 4 hurricanes which triggered tsunami-like storm surges that devastated coastal areas of the islands of Leyte, Samar, Panay, parts of the southern Tagalog region and Palawan. The sheer force of the 225 kilometer winds, flattened the provinces and left at least 5,786 dead and destroyed 1,212,100 houses, completely or partially

Haiyan passed through the Visayas, a group of islands in Central Philippines, where a huge portion of the country’s travel destinations are located.

Among the badly damaged areas were those in Tacloban City in Leyte, Guiuan in Samar, Roxas City and Coron in Palawan.

Initially, 16 areas are to be featured for Bangon Tours, as proposed by PTAA and PHILTOA: Ilocos, Tuguegarao, Baguio, Batangas-Puerto Galera, Manila-Tagaytay, Puerto Princesa, Baler, Bicol, Cebu, Davao, Bohol, Iloilo, Boracay, Siargao, CDO-Camiguin, and Batanes. However, Bangon Tour offerings will not be limited to these destinations.

Participating organizations:

Private Sector (primary) –Tour Operators, Travel Agents, Hotels, Resorts, other lodging facilities and their respective Associations (i.e., PHILTOA, PTAA, HRAP, HSMA, etc.), Airlines and Tourist Transport Operators

Private Sector (secondary) – Restaurants, Shopping Malls and Retail Outlets, Other Tourism Services and their respective associations (PRA, etc.)

Private Sector (non-tourism) – Credit Card Companies, Banks, Others

Public Sector – DOT (Regional Offices), TPB, Duty Free Philippines, Local Government Units, other government agencies.

Promotion of Bangon Tours and participating companies and establishments (whenever practical) will be launched in the following websites:

www.itsmorefuninthephilippines.com
www.tpb.gov.ph
www.tourism.gov.ph
www.visitmyphilippines.com

For further details, please contact:

Department of Tourism – Tourist Information Center
#351 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., JB Bldg., Makati City, Philippines
Email: tourist_info@tourism.gov.ph / bangontours@tpb.gov.ph


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Department of Tourism - Region III (Central Luzon)
Paskuhan Village, City of San Fernando, Pampanga, Philippines
Phone: (63 45) 961-2612 / 5617 / 625-8525
Email: tourismregion3@gmail.com / support@visitmyphilippines.com
Recipient: PATA Gold Intl Award 2001, Kalakbay Natl Award 2001, ASEANTA Intl Award 2002 for Best Ecotourism Project
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