Tourism recovery and development was the highlight of first blended regional Dagyaw 2022 with simultaneous virtual participation of Central Visayas provinces on Wednesday, November 16, 2022.
Gov. Aris Aumentado welcomed local government and civil society partners with hopes for a united province and region through the initiative of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
He said Dagyaw as a platform to foster dialogue among stakeholders enables government to shape decisions that will address the needs of the people.
Now on its 4th year, Dagyaw began as a town hall meeting and evolved into Dagyawan sa Barangay, DILG Regional Director Leocadio Trovela shared, reaching community level multi-sectoral collaboration in championing advocacies for various sectors.
He also said the blended town hall meeting hosted in Bohol featured tourism as Central Visayas region is a major hub in the country.
The morning session for all participants covered inputs on tourism development and economic recovery from Chief Tourism Operations Officer of Department of Tourism (DOT) Region 7 Judy Gabato who reported that Central Visayas has so far posted 1,444,552 as of August this year. Of this number, 1,269,315 are domestic tourist arrivals while 175,385 are foreign tourist arrivals.
She stated that tourism is on its pathway to recovery with increased arrivals as well as holding of Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE).
With tourism decline during the height of the pandemic, the DOT focused on recalibration and updating of tourism products, accreditation, building tourism industry skills, and market activation activities such as travel/trade fairs and familiarization tours.
Tourism development is now focusing on outdoor, farm/fork/fork/fitness, motor, pilgrimage, culinary/gastronomy, dive, eskrima/arnis, and English as Second Language (ESL) Education activities, Gabato added.
The regional town hall meeting also emphasized the role and contribution of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) through talks from Travel and Tour Operator Joselino Baritua, as well as Citizen’s Engagement in Local Governance from CSO partner Catherine Ruiz.
In the afternoon, provincial level sessions were broken into sectoral topics namely: Agriculture for Bohol and Negros Oriental; Youth, Urban Poor, Labor for Cebu Province and its Highly Urbanized Cities; and Environmental Fees for Tourists and MSMEs and African Swine Fever (ASF) for Siquijor.
Officials from the national government agencies (NGA) led by DILG-7 and civil society organizations gathered for the simultaneous regional consultative forum.