When people say there is strength in numbers, it usually leads on to overcoming a seemingly insurmountable challenge. But two groups in our local tourism industry decided to join hands, not to face an adversity, but to share knowledge and expertise, and to conserve resources.
The Philippine chapter of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and the Philippine IATA Agents Travel Association (PIATA) have embarked on joint activities designed to benefit not only their members, but also other stakeholders in the local tourism industry. Currently, this segment of society is experiencing its worst crisis ever globally.
The heads of both organizations have targeted these undertakings that prepare their members for the challenges of the next “normal.” These activities reaped congratulatory messages from their members and from those they invited from other tourism organizations.
The tandem group started with a joint webinar featuring the popular Singapore-based motivational speaker, Leslie Choudhury. The session, entitled “Re-set, Re-focus, Re-tool for the Future,” commanded a participation of close to 300 tourism professionals and a flood of congratulatory messages.
Because of this highly successful initial venture, the two organizations decided to hold jointly via Zoom their respective general membership meetings, the first ever done by any tourism organization in the country. They invited a powerhouse cast of speakers which, again, rated high in participation and feedback.
Ed Monreal, general manager of the Manila International Airport Authority, discussed the new procedures and facilities now installed at international airport terminals. These conform to World Health Organization-mandated health and hygiene standards.
Grifton Medina, chief of port services at the Bureau of Immigration, shared with the participants the new systems and procedures of clearing incoming and outgoing passengers. Again, these guarantee protection from the ongoing viral threat.
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Assistant Secretary Dominique Rubia-Tutay explained in detail how the agency is helping the tourism industry’s labor workforce. Owners of tourism enterprises are guided on what they can and cannot do with their employees and corresponding benefits.
She also solicited feedback from the organizations’ members on what items should be included in the new DOLE Official Advisory on Employment Preservation. She was gracious enough to have included some of the solicited input which have now been released for implementation.
PATA and PIATA plan to continue their joint activities as these have proven beneficial to their members, and, in these very challenging times, they certainly find strength in numbers.
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