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Thousands of active and aspiring entrepreneurs, along with top government officials and tourism professionals, joined Go Negosyo’s Tourism Summit 2023 last May 6. The event, which was organized in partnership with the Department of Tourism, was held at the SM Seaside City Cebu. The massive hall of the SM’s new development in the Queen City of the South became the venue for lively discussion on the future of Philippine tourism following the three years of disruption brought on by the pandemic.
Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion welcomed several key personalities in the tourism industry, led by Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco and Cebu City Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia. Local government leaders of top Philippine tourism sites, namely Mayor Michael Rama of Cebu City, Mayor Sol Matugas of Siargao, and Mayor Edgardo Arcay of Panglao, lent their support to the event.
“This is the second time we have held the Tourism Summit. After the pandemic hit, the industry affected both big and small businesses, and many jobs were lost. We would like to help regain that lost ground and do it as fast as we can,” said Concepcion.
“You can see it, you can feel it. The Philippines’s time is now.Tourism is back and we are on our way to becoming a tourism powerhouse,” said DOT Sec. Frasco. She shared several projects of the DOT, including the focus on infrastructure development and facilities improvement, the development of the Tourist Lifecycle app to help tourists find local tourism destinations and experiences, the BisitaBeMyGuest program which incentivizes ordinary Fi
“The power of tourism to help the lives of Filipinos is enormous,” she said. Tourism, she said, accelerates progress, benefits communities
A highlight of the Tourism Summit 2023 was the Inspiring Tourism Entrepreneurs Awards, wherein 20 enterprises in the tourism industry and 10 travel vloggers/influencers were given recognition for their contribution to promoting Philippine tourism.
Throughout the day-long summit, industry experts, policymakers, entrepreneurs, social media influencers, and other stakeholders sharedtheir insights on the future of Philippine tourism and its economic opportunities, particularly for MSMEs in the industry and in the context of the country’s place in tourism in Southeast Asia
Discussing how tourism can uplift lives in the communities were ASEANTA President Eddy Soemawilaga, who joined Mayors Rama, Matugas and Arcay in the panel. Tackling the prospects of tourism in a post-pandemic world were PAM Express President Rabbi Ang, AirAsia CEO Ricky Isla, Cebu Pacific President Alexander Lao, Henann Group President Alfonso Chusuey, PCCI Director for Tourism Samie Lim, and Philippine Hotel Owners Association Executive Director Benito Bengzon.
Lending their professional insight into what the Philippines has to offer tourists were internationally renowned designer Kenneth Cobonpue, Amarela
Sharing their secrets to tourism success and resilience were ZambawoodResorts’ Rachel Fernandez, paragliding entrepreneur Violet Lucasi, FiestaFavoriites’s Atty. Jober
The Tourism Summit also featured online celebrities in a lively a roundtable on The Power of Storytelling, namely Marco Ho aka Bogart the Explorer, Kyle “Kulas” Jennermann, Therine Di
Selected active and aspiring entrepreneurs from Cebu and its neighboring province were given free entrepreneurship mentoring sessions, while lucky attendees went home with raffle prizes.
The Tourism Summit 2023 was co-presented with the DOT, and with the support of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry.