‘New tourism secretary should consult industry’

Posted on September 7, 2011

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TOURISM stakeholders in Cebu yesterday called for consultations with new Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez to achieve industry goals for Cebu.

Jimenez should meet with tourism players from the private sector if he wants to implement new programs, said Jenny Franco, chairperson of the National Association of Independent Travel Agencies Cebu chapter.

“He should consult us and let us know of his plans so we can go in his direction,” Franco said during the 888 news forum at Marco Polo Plaza Hotel.

Franco said that she met Jimenez last Sept. 2 after meeting with officers of the Tourism Congress of which she is a trustee.

Franco said they welcome Jimenez’s appointment as they find him open-minded and willing to listen to their concerns.

She said the Department of Tourism should work together with the Tourism Congress as they are the consultative body of the DOT.

“He should lead us and unite the private sector as a whole,” she said.

Jimenez earlier said he would consult the Tourism Congress in implementing new policies.

The previous tourism secretary, Alberto Lim, had a difficult relationship with the Tourism Congress, whose officials accused him of ignoring them and trying to reorganize the group illegally.

Lim, for his part, had said the congress was not really made up of tourism stakeholders in the country.

The Tourism Congress is a private consultative body set up under Republic Act No. 9593, or the Tourism Act of 1999 to assist the government in developing, coordinating and implementing tourism policy.

Franco said Jimenez should see to it that plans for tourism in the country would be compatible with Cebu’s tourism sector.

Jimenez is set to meet with the tourism stakeholders in Cebu “as soon as possible,” Franco said.

Former DOT in Central Visayas regional director Patria Aurora Roa said Cebuanos should also listen to Jimenez and his plans for the tourism industry.

“If he comes, we should also listen to him, aside from raising our issues and concerns,” Roa said. /By Candeze R. Mongaya, Reporter

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