Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco (PNA photo by Avito Dalan)

MANILA – The Department of Tourism (DOT) has reaffirmed its commitment to help revive the country's tourism industry and make it "better and stronger".

In a statement issued Tuesday night, Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco said the agency intends to drive a culture of tourism "that will engage society in promoting positive values, protect the nation's environmental, historical, and cultural heritage, and instill pride in being Filipino."

"Travel and tourism have been gravely affected by the pandemic and various calamities, but the inevitability of these challenges must never cause our resolve to waver," she said.

She said the Philippines would strive to make tourism a "major pillar" of recovery that Filipinos could benefit from.

"Of the greatest lessons these unprecedented times have taught us is that tourism should be by the people, through the contribution of the many enterprises engaged in the business and in service of tourism; of the people, because it conserves and promotes our heritage, national identity, and sense of unity; and most importantly, for the Filipino, because what we do contributes meaningfully to our livelihood and our long-term aspirations of a better life for ourselves, our families, our communities, and our country," she said.

Positive transformation for both people and the planet was the central message of World Tourism Day 2022 on Sept. 27.

The UN World Tourism Organization said if the sector is to realize its full potential to drive sustainable and inclusive development while also fulfilling its climate action responsibilities, it "cannot continue along the same, pre-pandemic path".

"In the build-up to World Tourism Day 2022, the determination of both the tourism sector and of tourists themselves to do more and to do better is evident. However, the actions of individual tourists, single businesses, and destinations will not in themselves be enough to deliver transformation at the speed or scale required," the UN agency said. (PNA)