Cotabato City, BARMM Philippines― The Bureau of Tourism (BOT) of the Ministry of Trade, Investments and Tourism (MTIT) recently had a 2-day Regional Orientation on Tourism Accreditation, Halal Tourism, Tourism Statistics, and Tourism Circuit Development last June 13-14, 2023 at Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex (SKCC), Bangsamoro Government Center and Al-Nor Convention Center, Sinsuat Avenue the following day.

During the two-day briefing, the participants were presented with the following topics: Tourism Statistics, Good Governance Indicators for Business Friendliness and Competitiveness and Tourism, Heritage, and Culture, DOT Accreditation, Standards Development and Regulation, LGU Competitiveness thru Tourism, Halal Tourism and Tourism Friendly Standards, Tourism Circuit Development and Briefing on Tourism, Promotions and Marketing Activities.

The said activity aimed to familiarize the participants on the Accreditation Processes to establish mechanisms on the compliance to accreditation requirements including forging Memoranda of Agreement/Memoranda of Understanding between the MTIT-BARMM and tourism stakeholders in the five (5) provinces of the region with existing tourism-related establishments (TREs).

The Bureau of Tourism envisions to create boundless opportunities on Halal and the reporting system of tourism data/tourism statistics. This led them to the mission that all the tourism activities in the region had been justified. As per Republic Act 9593 otherwise known as the “Tourism Act of 2009” signed by Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, tourism is an indispensable economic generator.

Juxtaposed with the efforts on Accreditation, Halal should be strictly practiced and imposed. It was emphasized that there is a prompt need for the orientation of our tourism establishments on the matter. As a region of predominantly Muslims, it is imperative that Halal as “a way of life” should be established and be part of the daily activities and business of the region.

The participation of the Regional Tourism Officers and representatives of the Local Government Units (LGUs) in the region is one concrete move of the BOT to put everything in order, designed to renew the commitment of every tourism player that has something to do with planning to implementation of programs/projects/activities and infrastructures and its operations; remind the players on their commitment for quality service; regard the importance of their role in the industry.

The activity has the primary objective to have a long-term sustainable effect on the LGUs’ tourism landscape. With the awareness created during the focus group discussions with the involved key tourism players, the investors and the existing tourism business chains are aware of their responsibilities in complying with what are mandated under the Building Code of the Philippines including the safety and well-being of their workers and that of the clients/tourists/guests who are working and visiting their facility. All that is provided under the tourism standards will be met and addressed and the number of tourism-accredited establishments in the region will flourish.

The activity set the reactivation of the Association of Provincial Tourism Councils in the region which is necessary for establishing rapport and relationship with both sectors, their active involvement in tourism programs and activities will propel a synergistic approach in tourism planning. The orientation aimed to uphold productivity and high efficiency in tourism development. The successful completion of the activity signifies a significant step towards empowering the employees of the Bureau of Tourism of the MTIT, ensuring they possess the necessary tools to make valuable contributions to the tourism endeavors under the Bangsamoro region.