Tourism promotion is vital ingredient

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Saturday, March 8, 2014

DURING my years managing various hotels, including Sugarland Hotel, Sea Breeze Hotel, Goldenfield Garden Hotel, Family Country Hotel (Gensan) and Sarabia Manor Hotel (Iloilo), my professional mind was always focused on how to bring in more business to my employers.


I can recall that the late Mr. Thomas Ong was persuaded by some Bacole?os to hire me to manage Goldenfield Garden Hotel that started in January 1990, and I was working in Cebu City years before that. When the late Mr. Ong (father to Odette Ong-Gomez of Bacolod Pension Plaza, Orville Ong of Kundutel, Orson Ong of Circle Inn, and Orley Ong of Westown and MO2 Restos) was then convinced to try me out, in my final words I simply asked him – Do you want your business to be successful? Obviously, he answered positively.



I told the man – if you want me to help you in your hotel business, trust me to handle the marketing and operation of your business; but let your side handle the money; and if after seven months you do not earn, I will drop my job. I stayed with the hotel for five long years and dividends were in time as challenged.

Tourism promotion is a serious matter. This is what I have learned for decades and having passion to make it happen is the very essence that can make it come true. I have always believed that a tourism body need not be only composed of stakeholders in the industry. They must be supporters since they are the beneficiaries. But they need not be the people directly behind the plans. Tourism is a business but it has to be done the right way.

I am impressed with the efforts of a passionate tourism and travel lady like Maricar J. Dabao of Viaje Negrenses, and also Tintin Mansinares, the provincial tourism officer, and Jennylind Cordero of the Provincial Tourism Office. Sorry, but it is only these three faces that I have seen to be serious in the sunlight and moonlights of the earth.

Local governments have to be serious without intent of injecting political intentions, in supporting tourism promotions in their respective localities. At times I am tempted to help an LGU since tourism is a money-making effort that will benefit a locality and many LGUs lose this opportunity as they do not know how. But if the LGU does not like your face, then it is sorry for you.

In the country, there is a select group of travel media personalities who are selected to tour a country by its own tourism authority office. Every region has one or three representatives. I am the one for Western Visayas. This is a great learning experience as we travel yearly and it is put to waste when LGUs cannot be given a share of ideas.

Tourism and travel are the ingredients of the success of hotels, resorts, inns, restaurants and night life destinations; inland and upland attractions and more. Promoting one’s hotel is not enough. Promoting the destination is the most important. In the Facebook of Maricar Dabao, I am impressed with her travel lately in the Province of Antique. The social media educates us. But it must be turned into business. Kudos Maricar, Tintin and Jennylind.*

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 08, 2014.


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