MANILA - Incoming Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco wants every local government unit to have equal opportunity to promote their tourist destinations including Mindanao.
"Mindanao, in general, is a very, very beautiful part of our country that is endowed with natural beauty. However due to challenges as far as peace and order is concerned in certain areas, the potential of the region has not been fully harnessed," she said in an ANC Headstart interview.
"In general as a region, I believe its important to extend economic fertility to our brothers and sisters in Mindanao by taking a closer look at what each municipality can offer."
Frasco, daughter of Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and mayor of Liloan town in Cebu, said social media can be used to promote lesser-known tourist destinations.
She noted it is important to "adopt a multidimensional approach to tourism" and to capitalize not only on the beauty of tourist destinations but also local talents and products they produce including food and clothing.
"Both in Liloan and the entire Cebu, there is a wealth of talent from our local artists, artisans and makers whose talents are evident in the products that they produce and it would be wonderful to be able to shed light on these and to give them a platform," she said.
"What the pandemic has also taught us, especially with restrictions from travel abroad is that it’s very important to capitalize on domestic tourism and not be so dependent on foreign tourism alone."
The new tourism chief said Cebu has a "very strong governance model" that can be replicated in other local governments.
"A very clear plan as far as the governmental support for tourism stakeholders and collaboration, coordination and consensus building with tourism stakeholders has also proven very well for the revival of tourism in Cebu," she said.
President-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos is interested in improving the overall tourist experience, whether domestic or foreign, "to make it convenient to come to the Philippines, travel through the Philippines, and to stay in the Philippines," Frasco said.
"That means coordinating closely with the relevant government agencies for the improvement of roads, bridges, access to seaports, as well as modes of transport," she said.
"The pandemic also taught us that you can actually continue to market your products by way of digitalization, by way of applications, through online platforms," she added.