MSMEs’ Critical Role in Philippine Tourism Transformation

Addressing over a thousand summit participants of the Go Negosyo Tourism Summit 2023 composed of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), local chief executives, private sector and business chamber leaders, tourism enterprise owners, influencers, content creators, and stakeholders coming from various sectors, Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco in her speech greatly emphasized the role that MSMEs hold in the realization of the tourism plans under the leadership of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., and the DOT’s intention for the Philippines to be transformed into a tourism powerhouse in Asia.

As she enumerated the DOT’s seven main objectives identified under the Marcos administration, Secretary Frasco cited two that specifically touch upon MSMEs.

First, on the enhancement of the overall tourist experience, the DOT chief shared through the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) 2023-2028, the DOT shall actively roll out not only improvements to national accreditation standards, but also “incentives to tourism enterprises that apply sustainable development principles, introduce Filipinization in their establishments, and who will institute programs that specifically help MSMEs grow as they are an integral part of the tourism value chain.”

Elaborating on the DOT’s strong desire to equalize tourism promotion and development across the country, Secretary Frasco expressed the Department’s intention to not limit itself to the key areas and well known-destinations. Rather, it shall allow the countryside to “feel the benefits of tourism by expanding tourism product development in lesser-known destinations.“

Secretary Frasco also happily noted that as of the DOT’s latest report, the Philippines has breached 2022 tourism targets as it has received over 1.9 million international visitor arrivals as of May 5, 2023. She also expressed her optimism on the 100% recovery of domestic tourism, citing Cebu as one of the major contributors to this growth.

“Because tourism recovery has begun, and the momentum for the tourism transformation of the country is underway, we have seen again the massive contribution of tourism to our economy,” Secretary Frasco said.

“The Department of Tourism is banking on the strength of our micro, small, and medium enterprises to augment these figures because ultimately, the success of our MSMEs is the success of the Philippines. That is why we are eager to partner with the Go Negosyo to institute this Tourism Summit that will provide networking opportunities, coaching opportunities, as well as provide the necessary perspective both from international and local governance as well as the perspective of the private sector to guide our small and medium enterprises as they continue with their contributions to the entire tourism value chain,” she added.

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