The Negros Occidental Tourism Division (NOTD) is conducting a Tourism Awareness Seminar, attended by tourism officers from the 32 towns and cities of Negros Occidental, as part of the tourism recovery program of the province and to prepare the LGUs for the reopening of domestic tourism.
The two-day seminar with the theme, “Negros Tourism: Moving Forward”, at the Negros Residences in Bacolod City, started Thursday, March 18.
On the first day of the seminar, NOTD officer-in-charge Jennylind Cordero gave updates about Negros Occidental tourism while Rhoderick Samonte of the Carlos Hilado Memorial State College presented the Revised Negros Occidental Tourism Code, and Gretchen Iwayan of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) – Negros Occidental discussed the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act on DOT-DOLE financial assistance for the displaced workers in the tourism industry.
Executive Assistant to the Governor and Provincial Gender and Development (GAD) Coordinator, Marie June Castro, will also talk about the Safe Space Act, and Rudy Reveche of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts will talk about the Relevance of Culture and Tourism Today.
Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said that because of lockdowns and community quarantines imposed by the government in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, economies started to slump and hundreds to thousands of Negrenses from the sectors of agriculture, construction, trade, particularly that of Tourism became gravely affected by the economic impact of the quarantine measures.
“Now, a year after closures, we are here, opening our province to travelers and tourism, but the most important and urgent concern that we need to correctly and cautiously address, is how to properly balance public health and economic concerns,” Lacson said.
The governor also said that as the province starts with the tourism recovery program, everyone must bear in mind that even though the national government has eased travel protocols, it does not mean that the nature of the virus and the mode of its transmission has changed.
He also urged everyone to make safety as the paramount criteria and measure in making decisions in the midst of the pandemic.
“Let us take this opportunity to find effective ways on how to open up our tourism industry without jeopardizing the safety of our tourists and the people in the industry,” said Gov. Lacson.
“This crisis has led us to new sets of behaviors, perspectives and approaches, and we need to adapt if we are to save both lives and livelihood,” he added.*