Changes to tourism code pushed

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Friday, February 14, 2014

THE City Council committee on tourism is seeking for the approval of proposed amendments to the current Tourism Code by April this year, an official said.

Committee chair Councilor Al Ryan Alejandre, who guested in Thursday’s edition of I-Speak Forum at the City Hall, said the amendment of the ordinance will be tackled during its fifth committee hearing this month and they are expecting to have the final draft before the end of this month.

"We need to amend the local tourism code because there are new standards, guidelines, terminologies, and sectors that will be covered by the tourism industry that have been set by the Department of Tourism (DOT)," Alejandre said.


He said one of the changes will be the inclusion of dormitels and hostels for DOT and City Tourism Office accreditation.

"In the previous ordinance, they are not included for accreditation. So what it looked like is that they are exempted from accreditation so we decided to include them," he said.

They will also be mandating hotels and facilities for meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibits or events (Mice) to submit monthly reports on the number of visitors they had.

"We need to get a monthly report to monitor correctly how many visitors are visiting Davao City and where they are coming from," Alejandre said.

He said this is for them to know what kind of assistance they can give to the private sector, to know when the lean or peak seasons are, and to help them market the city as a Mice destination to other cities.

"We will be imposing penalties to those who will not be able to comply with the ordinance," Alejandre said. He did not give further details of the penalty.

Alejandre also said they will include the establishment of a tourist police that is specifically designated to tourism enterprises and are well versed on dealing with tourists.

"The main objective for having the amendment is to strengthen and help the tourism enterprises in the city," he said.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 14, 2014.


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