‘Think out of the box, prepare for new world,’ Puyat urges tourism stakeholders

Published July 30, 2020, 2:50 PM

by Hanah Tabios

“It’s a new world out there and we have to think out of the box if we want to go back to business as usual.”

Tourism chief Bernadette-Romulo Puyat (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

This was the call of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat to industry stakeholders who have been exploring ways to recover in a safe and sustainable post-pandemic scenario.

“We need a different approach to business-as-usual if we hope to revive our tourism industry as we enter a new world,” she said during the recent online Leadership Excellence Series 2020 organized by the Department of Tourism (DOT) National Capital Region (DOT-NCR).

The first installment of the two-hour learning session tapped two of the country’s business thought leaders and speakers, Francis Kong and Josiah Go, to help tourism stakeholders create recovery plans, restructure their products and services, and optimize human resources to enable them to cope with the impact of the pandemic.

Puyat said the DOT has been conducting online learning courses to support stakeholders since the early months of the quarantine implementation in the Philippines.

“Courses like these seek to retool and reskill our stakeholders and tourism workers in preparation for when tourism activities are restarted,” she said.

Go, chairman and chief marketing strategist of Mansmith and Fielders Inc., presented strategies that businesses must apply to become more resilient in a post-pandemic time, which includes the adoption of new market segmentation strategies.

He also cited case studies that encourage tourism businesses to get creative and best practices that demonstrate effective domestic tourism and destination marketing.

Kong, president of Success Options Publishing Company and FunWorks Inc., shared ideas on how businesses can restore confidence among clients and employees alike. These include keeping personal health in check, caring for family and workers, redefining the “office” setting, building new and existing connections, providing learning opportunities for workers, and adapting to digital platforms.

The tourism secretary noted that the leadership series complements the department’s diverse online training offerings. The programs tackle topics such as innovation and entrepreneurship; culture and heritage; sanitation and hygiene; e-commerce, digital marketing and advertising; mental well-being; and the Filipino brand of service excellence.