Driven by a vision towards sustainability, the Department of Tourism (DoT) launches a bayanihan movement called “Save Our Spots (SOS)” to instill a culture of responsible tourism and to involve more people to act for the welfare of our domestic tourism industry.
“This movement calls for each individual to do their part in acting as a responsible tourist and encouraging the same behavior towards their peers,” DoT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said. “Sustainable tourism as a whole may seem like an ambitious venture but every small contribution will go a long way to collectively benefit the country’s tourism status, precious destinations, and valued lives.”
SOS is part of DoT’s overarching campaign for sustainability, called “More Fun Forever,” which aims to inspire tourists, businesses and local communities to have a long-term view on tourism by protecting destinations and our natural resources. The campaign seeks to impart sustainable tourism concepts by providing a more holistic view of the tourism industry to all stakeholders. This includes (1) the local community, by providing livelihood opportunities from tourism development, (2) the businesses, by making sure they adhere to environmental and quality standards while tapping the products and services of the local community, and (3) the tourists, by ensuring that they enjoy our tourism destinations responsibly.
The SOS movement supports the 3rd concept, with its primary goal being to educate tourists on how to be better travelers. The DoT will rollout various multimedia materials that will be showcased in strategic travel touchpoints such as airports, sea ports, vessels, and tourist accommodations to name a few. The department will also inculcate these when training front-liners and tour operators with the objective of developing a habit to take care of the country’s tourist destinations.
Benefiting tourist spots and Filipinos
By positively acting on these issues now, the country will be able to sustain its tourism growth for years to come and become a strong economic contributor to the total growth of the country. In 2018, tourism revenue was up by 14.3 percent from previous year and contributed 12.7 percent to the country’s GDP. Tourism has also provided income and livelihood to thousands of Filipinos.
The Philippines is blessed with world-renowned natural wonders such as Boracay, Palawan, Siargao and Vigan, named as some of the best tourist destinations in the world by numerous travel publications. These tourist spots have always been recognized for their beautiful beaches, interesting island activities, cultural heritage, and people, which are primary reasons why both local and foreign tourists keep coming back to the Philippines and explore more places in the country’s 7,641 islands.