Sunday, March 21, 2010


Perhaps one of our legislators should file a bill that would eventually abolish the Department of Tourism (DoT) and leave the industry to the private sector. The bill makes a lot of sense. It is consistent with the practice in most countries.

The DoT has become the dumping ground of political favorites. These favorites frequently travel abroad to attend the many tourism-related conferences. They show their faces at one or two sessions - and spend the rest of their time sightseeing and generally having a good time.

Here at home, these political appointees spend their time freeloading in five-star hotels, restaurants and resorts where they bring their family members and hordes of friends and hangers-on.

It should therefore come as no surprise that most of the DoT's attempts to attract tourists to the Philippines have ended up as dismal failures.

Though we have one of the most expensive tourism promotion programs in Asia, we too have the smallest number of visitors from abroad. The executives of some of our private travel and tourism corporations could run the tourism industry far more effectively if they did not have to cope with the interference of meddling government officials.

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