DOT STEPS UP ACCREDITATION DRIVE IN EASTERN VISAYAS
Department of Tourism Regional Director for Eastern Visayas Karina Rosa Tiopes. (Photo courtesy of DOT)
TACLOBAN CITY — The Department of Tourism (DOT) in Eastern Visayas will step up its campaign for accreditation of tourism-related establishments this year, noting that majority of businesses in the region are not compliant to minimum standards.
The number of accredited tourism businesses in the region has been increasing since 2014, according to the tourism department, but actual number is not even half of all registered tourism-related enterprises.
“This year, we really have to push hard for an increase in accreditation. From among the many, we have to admit that some cannot be accredited and we cannot impose them to follow international standards. We really have to identify which one needs accreditation,” said DOT Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes.
The accreditation process prioritizes primary tourism enterprises with facilities and services that are directly related to tourism. This include hotels, resorts, tourist inns, pension houses, homestay, travel and tour agencies, tourist transport service providers, ecotourism operators, and tour guides.
Also encouraged to get accreditation are organizers and venues of meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions.
As of November 2018, there are only 159 accredited tourism-related businesses in the six provinces of the region.
The tourism department will conduct an assessment early this year to find out how many operating establishments have the potential to obtain government accreditation.
Earlier, the DOT adopted the progressive accreditation system, which starts from basic accreditation and moves to regular accreditation, then the star rating system.
The streamlined system seeks to urge more businesses to get accredited and raise the standard of tourism products and services in the country.
“We really want to help each tourism establishment grow, but our intervention is limited if they are not accredited,” Tiopes added.
A DOT-accredited tourism establishment are being prioritized for training programs on basic customer handling, housekeeping to upgrade the quality of service for the guests, issuance of DOT identification cards to employees, endorsement to Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board for issuance of tourist transport franchise.
Accreditation also serves as their passport to join marketing events in other countries and be a part of sales missions with DOT.