The Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) said it is pushing for the government to only shut down the operations of establishments that have violated environmental laws.
At the same time, the PTAA said that should the government decide to temporarily close Boracay, their members will still have more than enough alternative destinations to offer for their clients.
PTAA president Marlene Dado Jante said Boracay has been one of the main revenue drivers of their members but travel agencies know how to thrive even in the toughest situations.
“With a lot of tourism destinations in the country that have been developed over the past few years, travel agencies have multiple options for client travel within the country especially during this summer season.
We have survived financial crisis and even disease outbreaks. Our members will be able to cope with this,” Jante said.
“However, we believe that there are still responsible resort owners in Boracay who have from the start complied with all the government regulations and requirements.
These resorts should remain open even during the time when Boracay is being rehabilitated,” she said.
Jante said they will hold meetings with both the Department of Tourism and Department of Environment and Natural Resources for their side to be heard.
She believes that with the PTAA, a key stakeholder in the country’s tourism industry, the government will at the very least take into consideration their recommendations in solving the Boracay crisis especially with the fact that there are at least 17,000 workers who depend on the island for their livelihood.
“The PTAA has always been pushing for the growth of the country’s tourism industry because it positively impacts the lives of our countrymen. Loss of livelihood should never be an option,” Jante said.
At the same time, Jante said they will send a team this month to inspect the facilities of their 18 member resorts in Boracay to see if they are compliant with government regulations.
“We hold our members accountable to the highest standards in their operations. If there are infringements, we will demand that they correct them while also expecting an upgrade on their facilities and services,” Jante said.
A lot of the hotels, resorts, restaurants, and wellness centers in the country, including those in Boracay are allied members of the PTAA.
Other allied members of the association include airlines, tourist transport operators, convention organizers, and handicraft stores.
Jante said that responsible tourism requires all stakeholders including their members to take responsibility and implement actions that will ensure that destinations like Boracay remain sustainable.
“The PTAA has always stood up for the greater good of the country’s tourism industry,” Jante said while adding that they want to create better places for people to live and visit.
The PTAA, established in 1979, is the country’s biggest travel and tourism association. It has more than 600 members operating nationwide.
“Courtesy of Daily Tribune”