By Minerva Newman
CEBU CITY— The Department of Tourism (DOT), through Undersecretary Edwin Enrile, and World Bank Senior Specialist Lesley Cordero have proposed a rapid assessment of Bohol’s cultural assets be made on top of its more well-known physical assets, in connection to Bohol’s application for a UNESCO Creative Center for Music.
“This will rally the provincial government, the mayors and other leaders of Bohol, and tourism, cultural and artistic stakeholders for a united understanding on the project in terms of policy and regulatory level implementation,” Bohol Governor Arthur Yap said after a weeklong conference in Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan.
Enrile said that giving emphasis on the creative economy of a destination was also consistent with the thrust of the DOT towards sustainable and inclusive tourism.
Enrile said that when the creative and cultural assets of the community are properly enhanced, they represent a strong competitive advantage for a destination, giving it a unique and non-replicable character.
He added that when the creative community is engaged in tourism, its economic benefits trickle down to the communities and tourism becomes a tool for poverty alleviation.
Yap underscored that basic infrastructure, connectivity and governmental services form the backbone of any tourism economy. But without the creative side, there will be no lifeblood, color, nor experience for the tourist to take away with him or her.
“It is the creative side that makes tourism sustainable and ensures return of customers and clients for a long time to come.” Yap added.
Yap told Boholanos that Bohol was lucky to have a deep bench of cultural assets, performing artists and physical assets as well to build on, develop and expand into a Creative and Business District.
The challenge now is to ensure that they will have an eco-system to thrive in, rationalized by the proper infrastructure expenditure support and technical training as well, Yap said.