National Ecotourism Strategy - Department of Tourism.doc by shensengvf


									                         ANNEX 4

National Ecotourism Strategy

     Preliminary Draft

      December 2001
                      TABLE OF CONTENTS

1   INTRODUCTION                                                  6

    1.1    STATUS OF THIS REPORT                                   6
           STRATEGY                                                6
    1.3    DEFINITION OF ECOTOURISM                                8
    1.4    IMPERATIVES FOR URGENT ACTION                           9
    1.6    THE PLANNING PROCESS TO DATE                           10
    1.7    FUTURE PLANNING STEPS                                  12
2   SITUATION ANALYSIS                                           13

    2.1    POLICY CONTEXT                                         13
    2.2    AGENTS OF DEVELOPMENT                                  15
    2.3    NATURAL RESOURCE BASE                                  22
    2.4    CULTURAL RESOURCE BASE                                 36
    2.5    MARKET ANALYSIS                                        41
    2.6    TOURISM MARKETING                                      53
    2.7    TRANSPORT ISSUES                                       58
    2.8    ACCOMMODATION ISSUES                                   61
    2.9    SUPPORT SERVICES                                       63
    2.10   IMPACTS                                                65
    2.11   HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT                             68
3   STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK                                          72

    3.1    PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER                            72
    3.2    PRELIMINARY STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK                        72
4   KEY ECOTOURISM SITES                                         77

    4.1    THE KEY SITE IDEA                                      77
    4.2    KEY SITE SELECTION PROCESS                             77
    4.3    KEY ECOTOURISM SITES AND BANNER SITES                  79
    4.5    LINKING KEY ECOTOURISM SITES                           81

           PROGRAM                                                83
           PROGRAM                                                89
6   STANDARDS AND ACCREDITATION                                  90

    6.1    IMPERATIVES FOR INDUSTRY STANDARDS                     90

    6.2   ACCREDITATION IN ECOTOURISM                            91
    6.3   BENEFITS OF A JOINT APPROACH                           91
          ACCREDITATION                                          92
7   ECOTOURISM DEVELOPMENT FUND                                     93

    7.1   OBJECTIVES OF THE FUND                                    93
    7.2   ADMINISTRATIVE ARRANGEMENTS                               93
    7.3   ACTION PLAN FOR ESTABLISHING THE FUND                     94
8   PHILIPPINES ECOTOURISM NETWORK                                  95

    8.1   NETWORK OBJECTIVES                                        95
    8.2   EVOLUTION OF THE ETWG                                     95
    8.3   A CHANNEL FOR TECHNICAL SUPPORT                           96
          NETWORK                                                   97
9   STAKEHOLDER COMMITMENTS                                         98

APPENDICES                                                          99

        ISSUES                                               99
    APPENDIX 3: KEY SITE ACTION PLANS                        99


ADB          Asian Development Bank
ASEAN        Association of Southeast Asian Nations
ASA          Air Services Agreement
ASSET        Accessing Support Services and Entrepreneurial Technology
BCOD         Bureau of Cooperatives Development
BIMP-EAGA    Brunei Indonesia Malaysia Philippines - East Asian Growth Area
CBCRM        Community-Based Coastal Resource Management
CBBE         Community and Barangay Business Enterprise
CBST         Community Based Sustainable Tourism
CD           Community Development
CDA          Cooperatives Development Authority
CI           Conservation International
CIDA         Canadian International Development Agency
CITIES       Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of
             Wild Flora and Fauna
CO           Community Organization
CPPAP        Conservation of Priority Protected Areas Project
CRMP         Coastal Resource Management Plan / Project
DENR         Department of Environment and Natural Resources
DILG         Department of Interior and Local Government
DOST         Department of Science and Technology
DOT          Department of Tourism
DTI          Department of Trade and Industry
ECC          Environmental Compliance Certificate
EIA          Environmental Impact Assessment
EO           Executive Order
ETWG         Ecotourism Technical Working Group
FASPO        Foreign-Assisted Projects Office
FIT          Free and Independent Traveler
GAST         Green Alliance for Sustainable Tourism
GEF          Global Environment Facility
GIS          Geographic Information System
GNP          Gross National Product
GOP          Government of the Philippines
GPS          Global Positioning System
ha           hectare
HRAP         Hotel & Restaurant Association of the Philippines
HTIP         Hotel Tourism Institute of the Philippines
IPAF         Integrated Protected Area Fund
KKP          Kaban Kalikasan ng Pilipinas
LGSP         Local Government Support Program
LGU          Local Government Unit
MOA          Memorandum of Agreement
MR           Marine Reserve
MTPDP        Medium Term Philippine Development Plan
NAIA         Ninoy Aquino International Airport

NEDA      National Economic and Development Authority
NEDC      National Ecotourism Development Council
NES       National Ecotourism Strategy
NESC      National Ecotourism Steering Committee
NGA       National Government Agency
NGO       Non Governmental Organization
NIPA      NGOs for Integrated Protected Areas
NIPAS     National Integrated Protected Area System
NPFP      National Physical Framework Plan
NTO       National Tourism Organization
OBST      Olango Birds and Seascape Tour
P         Philippine Peso
PA        Protected Area
PALF      Philippine Airlines Foundation
PAMB      Protected Area Management Board
PAWB      Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau
PCVC      Philippines Convention and Visitor Center
PD        Presidential Decree
PHILTOA   Philippine Tour Operators Association
PRRM      Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement
PSWO      Provincial Social Welfare Officer
PTA       Philippine Tourism Authority
PTO       Provincial Tourism Officer
RA        Republic Act
REC       Regional Ecotourism Committee
SNS       Save Nature Society
TA        Technical Assistance
TESDA     Technical Education Skills Development Authority
TIBFI     Tourism Industry Board Foundation, Inc.
TMP       Tourism Master Plan
TOR       Terms of Reference
UNDP      United Nations Development Program
UNEP      United Nations Environment Program
UN/FAO    United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization
UP        University of the Philippines
USAID     United States Agency for International Development
VFR       Visiting Friends and Relatives
WTTC      World Travel and Tourism Council
WTO       World Tourism Organization
WWF       World Wide Fund for Nature (World Wildlife Fund)



     This document is a Preliminary Draft of a National Ecotourism Strategy (NES)
     for the Philippines. A National Ecotourism Strategy was called for in
     Executive Order 111 (EO 111) issued in 1999. Various bodies established
     under EO 111 are undertaking the task of preparing the NES. Leading the
     process is the National Ecotourism Steering Committee (NESC). Supporting
     the process are 15 Regional Ecotourism Committees (RECs) and the
     Ecotourism Technical Working Group (ETWG).

     While the planning process is still in progress, this Preliminary Draft of the
     NES has been prepared in order to elicit feed-back from a wide range of
     stakeholder groups involved in ecotourism. This is an opportunity for NES
     planners to set out their preliminary conclusions and to circulate these widely
     so that all ecotourism stakeholders have an opportunity to critique them and
     suggest new directions where necessary. The RECs will coordinate the
     responses from stakeholders, region by region. The planning process is still at
     a preliminary stage. There is ample scope for additions, even major revisions.

     The Preliminary Draft is arranged in the format proposed for the final NES.
     The following chapter presents a Situation Analysis, tracing recent events in
     component parts of ecotourism. An Overall Strategic Framework is then
     presented, which explains all the proposed major strategic directions in one
     integrated chapter. Six further chapters take each of the major strategic
     directions in turn and give details of what is proposed. At this early stage, the
     last six chapters are only in outline form. Eventually they will include detailed
     action plans for implementation.

     The final NES will be the guiding document of the bodies formed under EO
     111. It may also serve as a guide to other government agencies, to NGOs and
     to organizations and individuals in the private sector. Hence, the language is
     straightforward. Where jargon is used, it is the jargon of "ecotourism". The
     goal is to transcend the boundaries between disciplines and to encourage
     participation by a wide variety of stakeholders.


     In 1991, the Department of Tourism in collaboration with the United Nations
     Development Programme (UNDP) prepared the Philippines Tourism Master
     Plan (TMP). Among the tourism objectives established by the TMP is one
     aimed at positioning the country as a world-class tourism destination under the

guiding principle of sustainable tourism development. In 1992, a National
Tourism Congress took up this theme and at that Congress the concept of
“ecotourism” was introduced into the Philippines. Then, between 1994 and
1998, a series of regional ecotourism seminars discussed the concept. This
work culminated in 1998 in a Technical Workshop on Sustainable Tourism,
during which the elements of a sustainable development framework were
identified and key issues defined.

On June 17, 1999, Executive Order 111 was issued. This established a formal
organizational structure for the development of ecotourism in the Philippines.
EO 111 created a National Ecotourism Development Council (NEDC),
composed of the Secretaries of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources,
Interior and Local Government, Trade and Industry, Finance, Education,
Culture and Sports, and the Secretary-General of the National Economic and
Development Authority and representatives from the private sector and non-
governmental groups. Underneath the NEDC, a National Ecotourism Steering
Committee (NESC) and 15 Regional Ecotourism Committees (RECs) were
established to implement the programs and activities approved by the Council.
EO 111 also called for an Ecotourism Technical Working Group (ETWG) to
provide technical and administrative support to the NEDC and the NESC. All
of these bodies now exist and are active. They are referred to collectively in
the Preliminary Draft NES as “the EO 111 bodies”.

The first function assigned to the NESC in EO 111, and the one that provides
the essential rationale for the NES planning work currently under way, is:

Formulate and develop a national ecotourism strategy and program for the
promotion and development of ecotourism in the country.

EO 111 further stipulates that:

The National Ecotourism Strategy shall be prepared by the Council to
provide an integrated management plan, which shall warrant a
comprehensive direction for the future of ecotourism in the country by
recognizing issues and problems for its sustainable development and
recommend feasible approaches in addressing these issues. The Strategy
shall be formulated in consultation with concerned stakeholders in the
environment and tourism sectors including indigenous peoples and local
communities to be effected by ecotourism development.

And further:

To complement and support the aforementioned Strategy, a National
Ecotourism Program shall be developed. The program shall encompass the
major aspects of ecotourism, which are 1) development, management and
protection of identified ecotourism sites; 2) product enhancement and
development; 3) environmental education and information campaign;
4) support programs for community stewardship and livelihood development.


     In October 1999, the First National Ecotourism Congress was held in
     Tagbilaran City, Bohol. Organized by the DOT, DENR, DILG and supported
     by UNDP, this Congress generated a number of outputs: a comprehensive
     definition of ecotourism, a vision and mission statements, and a set of goals
     to guide us of ecotourism in the Philippines.

     Ecotourism Policy Statement in the sustained integrated development

     The state shall develop and promote ecotourism as a tool for sustainable
     development to support the development, management, protection and
     conservation of the country’s environment, natural resources and cultural
     heritage. The State shall establish an integrating system to focus greater
     efforts to sustain the viability of ecotourism development in the country.

     Ecotourism Definition

     A form of sustainable tourism within a natural and cultural heritage area
     where community participation, protection and management of natural
     resources, culture and indigenous knowledge and practices, environmental
     education and ethics, as well as economic benefits are fostered and pursued
     for the enrichment of host communities and satisfaction of visitors.

     Ecotourism Vision

     Ecotourism envisions a globally competitive but distinct Philippine tourism
     characterized by a balanced ecosystem and a well-preserved culture and
     indigenous knowledge systems and practices which are nurtured by
     committed, empowered, responsive and gender-sensitive stakeholders for the
     benefit of present and future generations.

     Ecotourism Mission

     To position the Philippines as a globally competitive ecotourism destination
     anchored on sustainable development where the use, development and
     protection of the country’s natural resources and environment as well as the
     preservation and management of cultural heritage are given priority
     consideration for the benefit of present and future generations.

     To this end, initiatives shall be pursued to strengthen local leadership,
     institutionalize community participation, facilitate domestic and foreign
     investments, promote environmental education and ethics, instill
     nationalism and harness local entrepreneurship and multi- stakeholder

      partnership, towards the upliftment of the quality of life of host communities
      and the enrichment of visitor experience.

Ecotourism Goals

       Develop globally competitive ecotourism products.
       Develop responsible ecotourism market
       Optimize community benefits and enhance the quality of visitor
        experience from ecotourism.
      The United Nations has declared 2002 as the International Year of
      Ecotourism following a recommendation by the Philippines. In support of
      this declaration, many countries throughout the world are currently
      preparing their national plans on ecotourism. Various international and
      regional conferences have also been organized to discuss and share
      experiences on developing ecotourism and community-based tourism.

      In the Philippines, the 1999 Bohol Congress has clearly defined the
      concept of ecotourism in relation to the needs and aspirations of the
      Philippines which is, thus, custom-designed to the Philippines context.
      The Bohol Congress output has, therefore, laid the foundations for the


      The introductory paragraphs of EO 111 provide the fundamental rationale
      for proposing a system for promoting and developing ecotourism in the

      .. it is the policy of the State to develop and promote sustainable tourism
      while enjoining the participation of the Filipino people in enhancing the
      growth and competitiveness of the Philippine economy;

      .. it is the policy of the state to ensure the sustainable use, development,
      management, protection and conservation of the country’s environment and
      natural resources and cultural heritage for the enjoyment of the present and
      future generations;

      .. the development and promotion of ecotourism in the Philippines are viable
      and sustainable activities that will promote the protect of our environment
      while contributing at the same time to the growth of the economy;

      .. there is a need to establish an integrated system that shall warrant and
      focus government effort to sustain the viability of ecotourism development in
      the country…..

    As a refinement to this rationale, the NESC is suggesting specific and urgent
    national priorities that can be addressed by the NES, to wit:

     diversify the Philippines’ tourism product mix, especially in light of
      current downturn in tourist arrivals.
     spread the benefits of tourism to rural areas, not only for the provision of
      employment generation and poverty alleviation but also for the
      sustainability of the tourism industry.
     ensure the long-term sustainability of conservation management systems
      by providing an economic rationale for conservation management of
      natural and cultural sites.
     promote wholesome styles of recreation in outdoor environments and to
      provide for conservation awareness programs and education outside the
     minimize, if not totally eliminate, practices that degrade the natural
      and cultural resources by creating models that will demonstrate ways
      for local communities to engage in non-exploitative and unsustainable
      manner of utilizing/ exploiting the resources.


    In light of the foregoing, the following objectives are proposed for the NES:

    1.   To fulfil the requirements of EO 111 for an integrated, management-
         oriented document that proposes feasible approaches to the promotion
         and development of ecotourism, through a process that recognizes
         current issues and that includes consultation with concerned stakeholders
         from the environment and tourism sectors.

    2.   To adhere to the Bohol Congress definition and approach by
         considering ecotourism as an important tool for sustainable
         development, management, protection and conservation of the country’s
         environment, natural resources and cultural heritage.

    3.   To relate the NES to urgent economic, social, environmental,
         educational and resource management imperatives of Government and,
         thus, heighten the sense of urgency for the implementation of
         programs and projects.


    After issuing Executive Order 111, the Government made its commitment to
    ecotourism clear by taking positive steps to establishing the EO 111 bodies.
    The NESC, ETWG and RECs now meet regularly and are active. A proposal

was submitted to the New Zealand Government for the technical
assistance in the formulation of the NES. The New Zealand Official
Development Assistance (NZODA) approved the Philippine Government
proposal, thus, a technical assistance is now provided to work alongside
with the NESC and ETWG preparing the NES.

The ETWG is now been housed in its own office within the DOT premises.
Comprising the Group are technical officials from DENR, DOT, DILG and
NEDA. The ETWG began its work with a series of team building workshops
with the NZODA to build a common understanding for the formulation of
the NES. With NZODA support, it conducted an extensive round of regional
ecotourism stakeholder consultation workshops as shown in Table 1 - 1.
These regional workshops were designed to allow key stakeholders the
opportunity to influence the NES from the outset. They were also
opportunities for information gathering and for the members of the ETWG to
become familiar with ecotourism in the regions. Based on the workshops and
site visits, members of the ETWG then drafted the Situation Analysis (as
discussed in Section 2 of this report) for the NES.

Table1-1: Regional Ecotourism Stakeholder Consultation Workshops in 2001

CAR, 2 August, Baguio City              Reg VII, 20 June, Tabilaran City

Reg I, 18 August, San Fernando City     Reg VIII, 29 June, Tacloban City

Reg II, 20 June, Tuguegarao City        Reg IX, 5 September, Zamboanga City

Reg III, 23   August, Angeles City      Reg X, 26 April, Cagayan de Oro

Reg IV A, 19 September, Tagaytay City   Reg XI, 2 May, Davao City

Reg IV B, 23 August, Puerto Princesa    Reg XII, 13 September, Cotabato City

Reg V, 20 June, Legaspi City            CARAGA, 26 April, Cagayan de Oro

Reg VI, 21 June, Iloilo City

The regional workshops generally endorsed the Bohol Congress definition of
"ecotourism" as the starting point for the NES and produced the beginnings of
a shared vision on how to develop styles of tourism that conform to the ideals
implied by that definition. The ETWG compiled the outputs of the regional
workshops into a matrix and then invited all the EO 111 bodies to attend a
National Ecotourism Planning Workshop to discuss and relate the composite

    Held at Clark Airbase on 27 and 28 November 2001, and attended by 85
    members of EO 111 bodies from throughout the Philippines, the objectives of
    the National Ecotourism Planning Workshop were:

     To discuss elements of the proposed National Ecotourism Strategy based
      on the issues and concerns identified by the stakeholders in the regional
      ecotourism stakeholder consultation workshops;
     To identify / select Key Ecotourism Sites based on the list of ecotourism
      areas from the regional workshops and subsequent deliberations by the
      RECs; and
     To develop an action plan for aspects of the proposed National Ecotourism
    The key results of the National Ecotourism Planning Workshop are contained
    in this Preliminary Draft of the NES. They are presented now in order to elicit
    reactions and generates further ideas from a wider stakeholder audience.


    The RECs will lead the next stage of planning during which the focus will be
    on assessing reactions to the Preliminary Draft on a regional basis. The RECs
    in each region are composed of the Regional Director of DOT, Regional
    Executive Director of DENR, Regional Technical Director for Environmental
    Management and Protected Area Sector of DENR, NEDA- PCSD, a private
    sector representative and a representative from the concerned local
    government unit. The individual RECs will undertake whatever activities
    they feel appropriate to elicit reactions and ideas for the NES from the widest
    possible range of stakeholder groups.

    In early February 2002, the NESC will call for the submissions of
    feedback on the Preliminary Draft from the RECs. These will then be
    compiled and the results incorporated in the Final Draft of the NES,
    which is due in May 2002. The NESC is currently discussing the holding
    of a Second National Ecotourism Congress to be held sometime in 2002 to
    launch the NES.



2.1.1 Tourism and Economic Growth

     Tourism in the Philippines accounts for 8.7 percent of Gross Domestic Product
     and generates approximately five million jobs. Recently, tourism has achieved
     a higher level of priority within the Philippine economic policy. President
     Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has elevated tourism to a senior cabinet post. The
     Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) 2001 – 2004 now
     features a separate chapter on tourism and its contribution to the economy. It is
     seen as a means to achieve national objectives centered on poverty
     alleviation, employment generation and infrastructure strengthening.

     The separate chapter on tourism in the MTPDP is attributed to the
     formulation of the Philippine Tourism Master Plan (TMP) in 1991 and
     the President pronouncement to identifying tourism as one of the pillars
     of the country’s economic recovery. The main goals of TMP are to:

      Optimize the contribution of tourism to economic growth at a national and
       regional level
      Enhance and contribute to social cohesion and cultural preservation at a
       local level
      Develop tourism on an environmentally sustainable basis
      Develop a diversity of destinations, attractions and markets to minimize
       exposure to major internal and external threats to tourism industry.
     A 1999 assessment of TMP’s implementation revealed that major policy shifts
     were evident in the areas of transportation and infrastructure while those of
     human resources, marketing and other areas had yet to be fully achieved.

     In the transportation sector, Executive Order No. 219 liberalized the
     international and domestic aviation policy. This policy opened market access
     to new players on domestic routes, thus, improving the accessibility of major
     tourism destinations at competitive prices with better quality service. Airports
     were upgraded and new gateways were opened in Luzon (Laoag, Subic and
     Clark), Visayas (Mactan-Cebu) and Mindanao (Davao, Zamboanga and
     General Santos). Water transport was expanded with the issuance of
     Executive Order No. 185, which opened the domestic water transport industry
     to new operators and investors.

      Recognizing the importance of the environment to the tourism industry, the
      TMP also espoused a set of principles to aid tourism planning and
      development at the national, regional and local levels. These principles

       Environmental sustainability which ensures that the present use of the
        environment and its resources are maintained at a level that does not
        prejudice the ability of future generations to similarly use these resources
        and meet their own needs
       Ecosystem linkages that serve as a basis for the establishment by
        legislation or a joint management procedure for both terrestrial and
        adjacent coastal tourism areas
       Ecological interactions or the recognition of the intrinsic connection
        between sustainable use of living resources and protecting ecological
       Multiple uses which allow the maximum variety of uses consistent with
        conservation and acknowledging nature-based limitations in the pursuit of
       Effective integration of environmental and socio-economic consideration
        into the decision-making process ("sound ecology is good economics").
      The TMP, therefore, advocates and adheres to the concept of sustainable
      development through the implementation of appropriate policies and strategies
      to protect areas with high environmental and cultural sensitivity while at the
      same time providing livelihood to local community and enhancing the quality
      of visitor experience.

2.1.2 Ecotourism Policy

      Anchored on the TMP and Philippine Agenda (PA) 21, a sustainable tourism
      development framework was prepared by the DOT in 1998, providing for
      ecotourism as one of the tourism activities that can sustainably manage natural
      and cultural resources while providing employment opportunities for local
      communities. At that time, collaborations between the DOT and other
      agencies such as the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) of the
      DENR, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the National
      Museum were also beginning with the aim of fostering ecotourism.

      Building on these initiatives, Executive Order No. 111 issued in 1998 provided
      the basis for a formal partnership between DOT and DENR and other agencies
      to fully develop and promote ecotourism. EO 111 also established an
      institutional framework and mechanism for the integrated development of

      The objectives of EO 111 were furthered by the National Ecotourism Congress
      in Bohol in 1999 that adopted a national policy and definition of ecotourism
      (See Chapter 1).

2.1.3 Protected Areas Policy

      In 1992, Republic Act No. 7586 was passed providing for the establishment
      and management of a National Integrated Protected Area System (NIPAS).
      The NIPAS law also provides for the establishment of buffer zones and other
      multiple use zones including ecotourism. Consequently, the zoning of
      protected areas has taken recognition of the role of tourism in its protection,
      development and management. Tourism activities, particularly ecotourism are
      permitted in “recreational zones” to provide benefits to local residents as well
      as enable visitors to appreciate the beauty of nature. Along these lines, the
      DOT and PAWB have teamed up to develop a meaningful policy.

      To ensure that environmental management plans are carried out, the NIPAS
      law mandates the establishment of a Protected Area Management Board
      (PAMB) to plan and administer the protected area, approve any proposal or
      work plan to be implemented, delineate and demarcate protected area
      boundaries and promulgate rules and regulations for the conservation,
      protection and management of the area.


2.2.1 Motivations Involved

      In the development and promotion of ecotourism in the Philippines, there is a
      wide range of individuals and organizations involved in the preparation of
      plans, product development, implementation and marketing. Their
      involvement is motivated by different interests, ranging from the need to
      conserve natural resources, develop local communities, alleviate poverty to
      providing an economic rationale for utilizing protected areas.

2.2.2 Organizations Involved

National Government

      The DOT, pursuant to Executive Order No. 120, is mandated to ensure that
      tourism’s economic benefits are dispersed to a wider segment of the
      population. The DENR, on the other hand, is mandated by Executive Order
      No. 192 to conserve, manage and develop the Philippines’ environment and
      natural resources including its territorial waters and lands of public domain. A

  key responsibility of the DENR is to manage protected and natural areas to
  ensure that future generations can enjoy and reap benefits from the resources.

  In addition, there are other national Government agencies whose support is
  essential to ecotourism, namely:

   Department of Education Culture and Sports – with potential to influence
    values and raise awareness of the need to protect the environment, preserve
    cultural heritage and foster social cohesion and national unity among the
   Department of Interior and Local Government – with potential to ensure
    the cooperation and support of local government units in national
    ecotourism programs, providing a conducive climate for building
    partnership among business and civil society to manage and develop
    ecotourism sites.
   Department of Finance – with potential to develop an incentive program
    for ecotourism taking stock of the local communities need for financial
    assistance and private sector need for conducive investment climate.
   Department of Trade and Industry – with potential to continually foster the
    development of indigenous products and resources that can be promoted
    and marketed internationally.
   National Economic and Development Authority – with potential to provide
    the policy and enabling climate for ecotourism to develop in consonance
    with the Philippine Agenda 21 and various international and regional
    declarations and agreements wherein the Philippines is a signatory.
  While government provides the policy towards developing ecotourism, there
  are also other agents or organizations that have already begun the groundwork
  way ahead of the government. These organizations have collaborated with
  each other and secured support from international sources to implement
  various ecotourism programs. Table 2-1 shows the different institutions
  involved in ecotourism.

              Table 2-1: Agents for Developing Ecotourism Products

      Ecotourism Products                         Organizations Involved
 Outdoor recreation                Private Sector
 Eco-Walk                          DENR, NGO, Media, local foundation
 Trekking                          DENR, LGU, DOT, PTA, LGU, SBMA, local
                                   foundation, tourism councils, local community
 River rafting/ kayaking           Guide association
 Caving                            DENR, LGU, National Museum
 Diving                            Private sector, DND, PCSD, DENR, NGOs, LGUs
 Bird Watching                     Local foundation
 Cultural                          LGU, Tourism Councils
Source: DOT Regional Offices

Non-Governmental Organizations

      While the government is currently leading the promotion of ecotourism, there
      were a number of non-governmental organizations that started developing
      ecotourism projects as early as 1980 when the term “ecotourism” first became
      a buzzword among conservation groups. The key NGOs involved in the
      development of ecotourism include:

       Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM). Under its "EcoDev
        Tour" program, the PRRM has developed nature tours in Ifugao,
        Marinduque Island and Camiguin.
       World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Philippines (Kabang Kalikasan ng Pilipinas -
        KKP) is an environmental organization committed to reverse the
        accelerating degradation of the environment. The KKP is actively involved
        with ecotourism programs in Tubbataha Reef, Donsol, Pamilacan and the
        Turtle Islands.
       Conservation International (CI) is a field-based organization that helps in
        the protection of ecosystems and improving the quality of life of local
        communities. CI has recently been involved with ecotourism in the
        Northern Sierra Madre and Northern Palawan.
       Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) Philippines provides long term
        practical assistance to both government and NGOs working on issues that
        face the urban and rural people throughout the country. The key areas that
        VSO are working include: community-based resource management,
        enterprise development as well as education and communication.
       Accessing Support Services and Entrepreneurial Technology (ASSET)
        provides assistance to various organizations to build their capacity as
        agents of social change and managers of people-driven development.
        ASSET is a founding member of the Philippine Community-based
        Sustainable Tourism (CBST) Association and is implementing projects in
        Bohol, Palawan, Cebu, Davao, Camiguin, Ifugao, El Nido, Marinduque
        and Bataan. Tour packages have been designed by ASSET including
        canoeing, riding, river cruising, museum tours and trekking.
       Haribon Foundation works for biodiversity conservation and sustainable
        resource management. Its mission includes the promotion of community-
        based management strategies, conduct of scientific and socio-economic
        researches, and advocacy and policy development for biodiversity
        conservation. Areas where Haribon has undertaken programs include Mt.
        Isarog (Camarines Sur), Masinloc (Zambales), Bolinao (Pangasinan) and
        Getafe (Bohol).
       El Nido Foundation is a social development organization that seeks to
        improve the quality of life in El Nido while at the same time preserving the
        area’s natural integrity through community-based efforts and partnerships
        in conservation and sustainable utilization of the community’s resources.
        Key programs include rehabilitation of watershed in Bebeladan, waste
        management, micro financing and improvement of basic social services.

Government Corporations

       The Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) is an attached agency of DOT as its
       implementing arm for physical development. The PTA has set aside a
       special fund for environmental projects related to ecotourism. Examples
       include the conservation of Chocolate Hills and endangered tarsiers in Bohol,
       the propagation of giant clams and rehabilitation of coral reefs in the Hundred
       Island National Park in Pangasinan.

       The PTA is implementing an environmental infrastructure project in Boracay
       Island that will provide potable water supply, sanitation and a sewerage
       disposal system.

Private Sector

       Compared with other ASEAN countries, the Philippines is lagging behind its
       neighbors in private sector ecotourism development and promotion. There are
       relatively few specialized ecotourism operators in the Philippines such as the
       El Nido Resorts (now owned by the Asian Conservation Corporation), dive
       operators and a handful of adventure operators.

Local Government Units (LGUs)

       In the history of Philippine governance, several legislative and executive
       measures were undertaken granting local government units (LGUs) self-
       governance, decentralization and local autonomy to enable them to attain their
       fullest development as self-reliant communities and make them more effective
       partners in the attainment of national goals.

       In accordance with the Local Government Code of 1991 (Republic Act No.
       7160) a number of LGUs have tied up with DOT, DENR, NGOs, Foundations
       and the private sector to undertake community-based sustainable tourism
       projects. In addition, some LGUs have collaborated with media and outdoors
       clubs to promote greater consciousness to protect the environment and cultural

       Several LGUs have won citations and awards from national and international
       bodies for their efforts to promote environmental protection, conservation and
       management. The Baguio City’s Eco-Walk program was undertaken by the
       LGU in close cooperation with the media, DENR, NGO and local
       organizations. The Eco-Walk includes educational tours, hiking, trekking and
       tree planting to instill participants with a sense of commitment to protect the
       environment. Palawan has been cited by various organizations as an ideal site
       for ecotourism due to the LGUs active role protecting the environment through
       advocacy and dialogues with communities and concerned stakeholders. LGU
       initiatives in Bohol have helped make it an ideal site for ecotourism. The
       successful dolphin and whale-watching tour in Bais, which has contributed

       supplemental livelihood to fishermen and local communities, was spearheaded
       by the LGU in tandem with NGOs.

International Organizations and Bilateral Arrangements

       Not only government and private sector are involved in ecotourism in the
       Philippines. International agencies have launched various programs to promote
       ecotourism as a means to save depleting and degrading natural resources.

       Examples include Olango Island where USAID has extended financial and
       technical support to DENR’s Coastal Resources Management Program
       (CRMP) to develop ecotourism. The World Bank’s Global Environment
       Facility has allocated US$9 million to fund alternative livelihood in priority
       ten protected areas under the Conservation of Priority Protected Area Project
       (CPPAP) of the DENR. The NGOs for Integrated Protected Areas (NIPA)
       which is managing CPPAP has signed a memorandum of agreement with

Other Governments

       The Spanish Government has provided assistance to the PRRM to implement
       an ecotourism program in Camiguin Island in Northern Mindanao. The
       venture includes an island tour and homestay program managed by the
       community themselves. The NZODA program is providing technical
       assistance during the formulation and implementation of the National
       Ecotourism Strategy.

Outdoor Associations

       Educational and outdoor recreational groups have actively supported
       ecotourism with a view to building greater awareness and commitment to
       environmental protection. Special interest activities such as bird, dolphin and
       whale-watching have developed a niche market for local travelers who also
       help disseminate information to preserve endangered species.

       Outdoor recreational programs such as whitewater rafting, mountain climbing
       and cave exploration have gained wide popularity among domestic travelers,
       especially students and young professionals. These programs are undertaken in
       cooperation with outdoor recreational organizations such as mountaineering
       clubs, cave and rafting associations that can provide training. Popular
       ecotourism programs supported by outdoor clubs include caving, river trailing,
       rafting and kayaking in Callao Caves (Tuguegarao), Alayan Caves (Nueva
       Viscaya) and trekking Mt. Pinatubo (Tarlac).

2.2.3 Issues and Concerns

      Despite some success, there are still quite a number of constraints that inhibit
      organizations involved to further promote ecotourism. These include:


       Little or no effort is taken to encourage greater private sector participation
        in the management of protected areas in partnership and/or cooperation
        with local communities
       The abilities of local communities are over estimated. Local ownership and
        participation are certainly desirable and necessary, but they exhibit a
        limited degree of professionalism
       Conflicting and divergent roles of government, private sector and non-
        governmental organizations sometimes cause confusion among local

Implementation/ Operation

       Entry fees to conservation areas are hardly enough to support operational
        expenses and expansion programs that could enhance the quality of
        experience and attract more visitors
       Earnings from concessions and gate receipts are sometimes deposited with
        central authorities and thus are no longer available to finance local nature
        conservation or improvement of facilities
       Local populations lack the necessary know-how, experience and financial
       Local labor forces cannot take on qualified jobs because of the low level of
        training and education
       Tourism potential is over estimated because of lack of realistic feasibility
        or market studies


       Private sector and other relevant organizations are ignored instead of being
        included for their professionalism and understanding of markets
       Linkage with the tourism industry, particularly tour operators, wholesalers
        and marketing agents needs strengthening.

2.2.4 Institutional Framework

      To address the concerns of the different organizations, the DOT and DENR
      have worked together to evolve the partnership needed to jump-start
      ecotourism awareness and cooperation.

      In EO 111, the representation of the private sector and non-governmental
      organizations (NGOs) was pursued at the NEDC, NESC and RECs. The
      selection of representatives from the private sector and NGOs is undertaken
      with criteria that emphasize commitment to sustainable tourism development
      initiatives. Recognizing the vital roles of indigenous peoples and academics in
      planning, managing, monitoring and advocating for ecotourism, representation
      on the NEDC and NESC has been assured with one slot each.

      EO 111 institutionalizes partnerships amongst the three important stakeholders
      in sustainable development, namely government, business and civil society
      (including academics, NGOs and IPs). The government has therefore played a
      crucial role in formulating an ecotourism strategy for the Philippines.

2.2.5 Implications for Ecotourism

      Recognizing that the policy environment has been established and a wide
      range of individuals and organizations are now associated with ecotourism at
      the national and local level, the EO 111 bodies should serve as the catalyst to
      bring together agents of development to collaborate, cooperate and share
      experiences towards sustaining the development and management of
      ecotourism in the Philippines. The following are some interventions that could
      further enhance these partnerships:

       Harmonize existing programs and projects at the local levels building on
        the Bohol Congress’ definition of ecotourism
       Institutionalize Executive Order No. 111 through national legislation
       Provide financing and technical assistance to small ecotourism enterprises
       Develop standards and accreditation programs for a variety of ecotourism
        products to ensure a consistent quality of visitor experience
       Establish a network of ecotourism practitioners through the formation of a
        Philippine Ecotourism Network
       Provide technical and financial assistance to small scale ecotourism
        enterprises by linking them with a network of practitioners and financing
       Create a permanent unit within the DOT and DENR to handle the
        coordination of ecotourism activities, dissemination of information and
        sharing of experiences among individuals and organizations involved in

       Establish regional Ecotourism Technical Working Groups to assist the
        RECs carry out their mandate in EO 111
       Provide policy support through national and local incentives, as well as
        financing and matching grants for ecotourism projects
       Integrate ecotourism in overall policies and programs at the local level,
        particularly in disseminating information, enhancing awareness and


2.3.1 Natural Resources for Ecotourism

      With just over 7,000 islands, the Philippines or "Pearl of the Orient Seas" is
      the world’s second largest archipelago after Indonesia’s 17,000 islands. Along
      with Borneo and Papua New Guinea, the Philippines forms the Coral Triangle,
      the most diverse marine habitat of the tropics. The beautiful reefs of the Sulu
      and Sulawesi seas are home to about 580 of the world’s 793 species of reef-
      building corals, compared to just 50 in the Caribbean and over 300 in the
      Great Barrier Reef. It is also the habitat for 1,200 varieties of reef fish,
      including the plankton-feeding whale shark, the world’s largest fish.

      The natural resource base for ecotourism also encompasses wetlands,
      volcanoes, rugged cliffs, craggy seascapes, and serene lakes surrounded by
      woodlands harboring a rich variety of plants and animals. In the forest, fields
      and mountains about 500 species of birds have been recorded, of which 172
      species are found only in these islands. The Philippines ranks fifth in the world
      and second in Asia, next to Indonesia, in terms of its number of endemic
      animals. Among plant rich countries in the world, the Philippines ranks 25th in
      the world and eighth in Asia. According to Conservation International, the
      Philippines is both a mega-diversity country and one of the world’s highest
      priority hotspots for the conservation of nature.

      This section provides a summary of selected natural attractions for ecotourism
      in the Philippines which include World Heritage Sites ASEAN Heritage Sites,
      a Biosphere Reserve, a Transboundary Park and other protected areas. Based
      on the Key Sites identified during the preparation of the National Ecotourism
      Strategy, these attractions were discussed during extensive regional
      consultations and finalized at the National Planning Workshop in November

2.3.2 Summary of Forest, Mountain and Volcano Attractions

      With its rich diversity of forest types and situated on the Pacific “Rim of Fire”,
      the Philippines has some of the most intense forest, mountain and volcanic
      attractions in the world.

Mt. Apo Natural Park

      At 2,954m Mt. Apo Natural Park in eastern Mindanao is the highest mountain
      in the Philippines with a total area of 72,113ha. It is recognized for its natural
      diversity of flora and fauna, including the Philippine eagle, tarsier, and 272
      species of birds of which 40 percent (111 species) are endemic to Mt. Apo. It
      holds special significance to at least six different indigenous peoples, the
      Manobo, Bagobo Ubo, Ata, K’lagan and Tagacaolo peoples. Seven entry
      points provide access to the mountain, and Mt Apo is a popular ecotourism
      destination with hundreds of trekkers and mountaineers climbing Mt Apo each
      year. Problems with rubbish management has resulted in restricting trekkers.

Bohol Chocolate Hill

      Chocolate Hills are an established stop on the main tourist trail. Legend has it
      that these 1000 or so nearly identical hills are the solidified teardrops of a
      lovelorn giant. Tarsier visits nearby offer a firsthand encounter with the
      smallest primate species in the world. The Loboc river cruise features fiesta
      style hospitality on rafts arranged by the local community with a serenaded

Camiguin and Bukidnon

      Security constraints have hampered the development of beautiful northern
      Mindanao, except for domestic visitors who are attracted to Camiguin Island’s
      volcanos, springs and waterfalls, Bukidnon forests, canopy walkway and river
      running operation accessible from Cagayan de Oro.

Mt Guiting-Guiting

      More than half of the Sibuyan Island, where Mt. Guiting-Guiting lies, is
      covered with forest. The Island is accessible by boat from Manila North
      Harbor, from the port of Batangas City, or by plane or boat from Manila via
      Toblas Island.

Mt. Isarog

      Mt. Isarog (1,976m) Natural Park in Camarines Sur Province in Southern
      Luzon is a dormant volcano. This important bird area is a key conservation
      site in the Philippines. The Park’s 10,112 ha. contain one of the largest tropical
      rainforests in the Bicol Peninsula, with nearly half still covered with primary

Mt. Kanlaon

      Mt. Kanlaon (2,460m) Natural Park in Negros is 24,500 ha of forest and
      volcano, including the highest peak in Central Philippines. Kanlaon has two
      craters and is one of the most active volcanoes in the country. Despite many
      eruptions, the most recent being in 1992, the mountain is a favorite trekking
      destination. PAMB authorities have responded to accidents by limiting the
      number of summit trekkers.

Mt Kitanglad Natural Park

      Mt. Kitanglad is the catchment area for Cagayan, Tagoloan and Pulanguri
      Rivers of Northern Mindanao and has a vital role in regulating the supply of
      drinking water and crop irrigation to the whole of Bukidnon Province. The
      mountain range is also the ancestral territory of indigenous peoples such as
      Talaandig, Higanon and Bukidnon tribes, which share common traditions and
      ties. Noted for its forest types and biodiversity, Mt. Kitanglad is a nesting site
      for the Philippine eagle.

Mt. Makiling

      Mt. Makiling (1,144m) Forest Reserve is an isolated volcano in Southern
      Laguna with some impressive forest on its upper slopes. It is an important
      watershed and contains natural springs that are the major tourist attractions of
      Los Baños. It also serves as a natural laboratory for students of the University
      of the Philippines.

Mt. Mayon

      Mt. Mayon’s near perfect 2,300m. cone is a defining feature of the
      Philippines. Erupting most recently in June 2001, Mt. Mayon is one of the
      most active volcanoes in the world. When conditions are stable, Mayon is a
      popular destination for day trips and overnight climbing expeditions.

Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park

      Situated on the northeast coast of Luzon, Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park
      (319,513ha) is the largest protected area in the Philippines, although difficult
      to access. It is considered important as the largest tract of forest remaining in
      the Philippines and because of the size and richness of its genetic, species and
      habitat diversity. It has ecotourism potential due to its high conservation value.
      The trek into Palanan could be combined with wilderness coastal activities.
      Current security constraints need to be overcome and private sector operators
      engaged in the enterprise in order to make any significant conservation inroads
      by providing benefits to local communities in the Park.

Mt. Pinatubo

      Perhaps the best known Philippine volcano is Mt Pinatubo. Its massive
      eruption in 1991 was both tragic and spectacular. The path of destruction
      (lahar flow and formation of a crater lake) has since become an attraction to
      visitors, located conveniently close to Manila. Mt. Pinatubo is now a well-
      established ecotourism product involving an award winning, DOT inspired
      partnership between the indigenous Aetas peoples, tour companies, 4WD
      enthusiasts and resident communities.

Mt. Pulag

      Mt. Pulag (2,460 mts) is the second highest mountain in the Philippines. The
      Mt. Pulag National Park covers 11,500 hectares and attracts thousands of
      visitors due to its location only 50 kms from Baguio City. Mt. Pulag is valued
      highly for its legacy of ethnic values. The people around Mt. Pulag believe the
      mountain is sacred and the abode of spirits of the departed. The area has been
      inhabited for many centuries by various tribal peoples, the Kalanguyan being
      the most dominant tribe. Other tribes include the Ibaloi and the Kankan-ey.
      Significant natural features include the dwarf bamboo and the rarely seen and
      nearly extinct cloud rat, which feeds on the bamboo shoots and pandan. Other
      flora in the park include tree ferns, Rhododendron and oak, and have a close
      resemblance to Taiwan’s forest and plant species.

Taal Volcano

      The active Taal Volcano is only 60kms from Manila and has become one of
      the city’s major day trip attractions.

2.3.3 Summary of Coastal and Marine Attractions

      Many coastal and marine attractions in the Philippines are world class and
      have the potential to provide crucial ecotourism positioning for the country.
      Some destinations are already well developed, whilst in others promotion,
      protection and access remain constraints.

Apo Island

      Apo Island and Negros Oriental Marine Conservation Park were one of the
      early community-based coastal resource management models. Apo Island lies
      off the coast of southeast Negros Oriental with beautiful coral gardens, a rock
      climbing wall and a fishing village.

Apo Reef Natural Park

         Apo Reef Natural Park is the largest atoll-type reef in the Philippines.
         Sprawling across 34 sq. km., Apo Reef is a natural haven for over 375 species
         of fish, bird life including the endangered Nicobar pigeon, and a range of
         endangered plant species. Apo Reef is a highly valued but little used dive


         Bohol’s marine attractions include Balicasag island which boasts of
         magnificent diving. The island is ringed by a reef that drops away with
         impressive submarine cliffs as deep as 50m. Pamilacan Island, meaning the
         "mating place of manta rays," is 23 kms east of Balicasag. It could be an ideal
         spot for whale and dolphin watching if current marketing and operational
         conflicts could be overcome.

Coron Island

         Coron Island in northern Palawan comprises 71 sq. km of hills, forests and
         lakes and is a protected ancestral domain of the Tagbanua peoples. The
         Tagbanuas are semi-nomads with Negrito blood. Lake Cabugao is reserved for
         the Tagbanua and is strictly off-limits to visitors. Coron is highly valued for its
         diving, sea kayaking, rock climbing and opportunities for island hopping.


         Whale shark viewing from Donsol on the southern tip of southeast Luzon has
         the potential to be a world class attraction for the Philippines. Organization,
         competition between operators, seasonality, and lack of guaranteed sightings
         are a constraint.

El Nido, Northern Palawan

         Many people claim that El Nido is the most beautiful place in Palawan, with
         its tall limestone cliffs rising from the ocean, hidden lagoons and many islets.
         Well-known for its diving, sea kayaking and rock climbing possibilities, the
         protected area is managed by El Nido Resorts, a successful example of a
         partnership with the private sector for ecotourism development.

Siargao Island

         Situated to the northeast Mindanao, Siargao Island is an important ecotourism
         destination due to its natural features and quality of surf, despite its isolation.

       Dugong (sea cow), flying foxes, tarsier and flying lemurs are some of the
       natural highlights of Siargao. For tourism, Siargao is famous for the best
       surfing in the Philippines and surf resorts are well established. Opportunities
       to link the niche surf markets with other land-based attractions have yet to be

Tanon Strait (whales and dolphin watching)

       The Tanon Straight between Cebu and Negros is protected and patrolled with
       strong commitment from LGUs and local communities, ensuring an
       abundance of marine life. Due to pioneering community-based protection
       work by the Sulliman University in Dumaguete, Apo Island offers diving and
       beach recreation in a pristine environment with a strong domestic market base.
       Dolphin watching tours from Bais in Negros Oriental are arranged by the city
       of Bais, Office of the Mayor Tourism Operations Division, guaranteeing
       dolphins throughout the year (long-snouted spinner, bottle-nosed and spotted
       dolphins) and with several species of resident whales often sighted (short-
       finned pilot, dwarf sperm and melon-headed whales).

Transboundary Park

       The Turtle Islands Wildlife Sanctuary in Tawi-tawi is the only remaining
       major nesting ground of turtle rookery in all of South East Asia. The
       Governments of Malaysia and the Republic of the Philippines have executed
       an award winning Bilateral Agreement to protect and conserve what was
       called the Turtle Island Heritage Protected Area (TIHPA). On the Malaysian
       side, ecotourists can see the wonder and ordeals of the turtles laying their eggs.
       From the Philippines access is generally considered unsafe, due to the political
       upheavals in western Mindanao and Sulu Sea.

Tubbataha National Marine Park and World Heritage Area

       Tubbataha is also a remote atoll reef system, but in contrast to Apo Reef,
       Tubbataha attracts a significant number of divers during the short May to July
       season. Located 200 kms from Puerto Princesa in Palawan, Tubbataha is a
       successful example of ecotourism, with tourism closely linked to conservation.
       Divers visit on live-aboard charters paying significant user fees that generated
       P1.6m in 2000. Protection is assisted by the full-time presence of the
       Philippines National Coast Guard.

2.3.4 Summary of Lake, River and Wetland Attractions

       Lakes and wetlands in the Philippines are important as feeding and wintering
       grounds for migratory birds from Siberia, Japan, Australia and Southeast Asia.

      Wetlands provide bird watching, scientific study and culture orientated

Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary

      Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary offers one of the very few opportunities to
      see the Philippine freshwater crocodile. Pythons and the Philippine cobra are
      also present.

Lake Danao

      It is a popular domestic recreation area for fishing and picnics in the
      surrounding forest. Lake Danao is home to a variety of wildlife species.

Olango Island

      Olango Island is a low-lying island off the east coast of Mactan Island, Cebu
      where the donor-established Olango Birds and Seascape Tour (OBST)
      provides day visitors with a highly interpreted experience of the islands,
      migratory bird habitat, village life and marine protected areas.

2.3.5 Summary of Cave Attractions

      Caves are found throughout the Philippines amongst relatively young
      limestone. They are particularly popular with domestic visitors.

Penablanca Protected Landscape

      The huge limestone systems of Penablanca in Luzon attract mainly domestic
      cavers and pilgrims. Callao Cave is one of the most popular and the regular
      evening bat flight from Bat Cave on the river is potentially an outstanding
      ecotourism product, though currently undervalued and poorly presented.

Puerta Princesa Underground River

      The only Philippines’ cave attraction with likely international appeal, the boat
      trip through Puerto Princesa Underground River approached through coastal
      forest is established as the country’s most successful cave experience.

Sohoton Cave

      Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park in Samar was one of the first national
      parks in Asia. The park is famous for its natural stone bridge feature and caves
      system and attracts the domestic market.

2.3.6 Summary of Nature-Based Cultural Attractions

Batanes Islands

      Batanes Island is a remote, inaccessible, yet beautiful outpost in the far
      northern reaches of the Philippine archipelago, situated less than 150
      kilometers from southern Taiwan closer to Taipei than Manila. Only three of
      Batanes’ ten islands are inhabited. Covering over 200 hectares it was
      proclaimed a protected landscape and seascape in 1994 for its unique cultural
      characteristics. Batan Island is home to the charming provincial capital of
      Basco, where narrow streets and whitewashed homes make it one of the
      prettiest towns in the Philippines. The local Ivatan culture has evolved in
      isolation to that of the mainland ethnic groups. Weekly flights link Batanes
      with Tuguegarao.

Ifugao Rice Terraces

      The Ifugao Rice Terraces are an icon cultural product of the Philippines. Often
      marketed as the “Eighth Wonder of the World”, the Ifugao rice terraces are a
      well established attracting supporting one major hotel, several inns and a
      selection of village accommodation, such as Batad. Most visitors arrive on a
      north Luzon package that includes Sagada and Baguio. Potential exists for
      ecotourism development with village visits, handicrafts and trekking to extend
      visitor stay and bring benefits to the local communities.

Lake Sebu

      The scenic beauty and cultural attractions of Lake Sebu Protected Landscape
      in South Cotabato was an established tourism product before security
      constrained international visitors. Ecotourism potential with community
      participation could feature the gentle charm of the T’boli and their skill in
      weaving and making brassware.

Table 2 – 2 shows the various ecotourism products available and can be
developed in the foregoing sites. The RECs need to further evaluate the
products and sites to determine the market positioning and type of development
needed to promote the said areas for ecotourism.

                                           Table 2-2: Summary of Selected Ecotourism Products in the Philippines

Protected    Mt.    Mt.    Apo      Mt.     Malam     Mt.      Mt.     El     Mt.       Coron    Agusan   Bat-     Subic    Sierra   Tur    Siargao    Mt.
Areas/       Apo   Kanla   Reef   Isarog    -paya    Malin-   Pulag   Nido   Guiting-   Island   Marsh    anes     Bataan   Madr     -tle    Island   Kitang-
Activities          on                      Sound    dang                    Guiting                                           e      Is.               lad

Trekking     X      X               X         X        X       X                X         X                X         X        X                         X

Contact      X      X               X         X        X       X                X         X        X       X         X        X                         X

Watching     X      X               X         X        X       X       X        X         X        X       X         X        X               X         X

Hiking       X      X               X         X        X       X       X        X         X                X         X        X                         X

King         X                      X                  X       X       X        X         X                X                  X                         X
Ing/Tour     X      X               X         X        X       X       X        X         X        X       X         X        X       X       X         X
Diving                      X                 X                        X                  X                X         X                X       X

Watching                                                               X                  X        X       X                          X

Lling                       X                                          X                  X                          X                X       X

2.3.7 Natural Resource Management

      Almost all the natural attractions for ecotourism in the Philippines are
      managed under the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act.
      NIPAS legislation provides the institutional framework by which many
      stakeholder groups play an role in nature conservation and ecotourism. The
      institutionalization of the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) has
      endeavored to realize two important objectives for the Government:
      strengthening local governance and fostering effective partnerships between
      the Government and civil society in resource and protected area management.
      The PAMB, which is the policy-making body at the site level, exercises
      management supervision over each protected area.

      At the site level and along with the PAMB, protected areas are administered
      by the Protected Area Superintendents specifically for the purpose of
      implementing the area’s Management Plan. Some are supported by the
      National Integrated Protected Area Program (NIPAP), a special project of the
      Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) assisted by a
      grant from the European Union (EU). Others are assisted by the Conservation
      of Priority Protected Areas and Conservation Project (CPPAP), a joint project
      of the DENR and NGOs for Integrated Protected Areas (NIPA), with funding
      assistance from Global Environment Facility (GEF)-World Bank.

      Local Government Units (LGUs) usually provide administrative/logistical
      support in project implementation as well as law enforcement. Other national
      government agencies also provide technical support in biodiversity
      conservation and assistance in law enforcement. For instance in Mt. Guiting-
      Guiting, the Philippine National Police/Phil. Maritime Police and Coast Guard
      and the Phil. Air Force are involved in law enforcement (apprehension of
      violators and illegal poachers).

2.3.8 Management Issues and Concerns

       Environmental Threats
            Habitat destruction
            Illegal encroachment and occupancy
            Logging
            Fire
            Kaingin or shifting cultivation
            Illegal fishing
            Poaching
       Socio-Economic Issues

            Poverty
            Poor access to basic services
            Lack of livelihood alternatives
       Legal and Institutional Issues
            Land tenure of indigenous peoples (IPs)
            Private and titled properties within protected areas
            Overlapping roles of different managing authorities.
       Management Issues
            Access is sometimes logistically difficult
            Limited provision of infrastructure and varying degrees of quality
            Use of carrying capacity limits and lack of visitor management systems
             (i.e. rubbish) resulting in closure of public access may restrain the
             creation of alternative livelihoods through ecotourism
            Emergency response is in embryonic stage
            Limited skilled labor available to manage protected areas.

      In Table 2 – 3, the constraints and opportunities facing the use of
      protected areas for ecotourism is outlined. It is envisaged that the
      recommendations arising from the consultations and anslysis of the issues
      will be pursued to fully promote the natural and protected areas as model
      sites for ecotourism development in the Philippines.

2.3.9 Implications for Ecotourism

       Opportunities for ecotourism development in some of the protected areas
        may be restrained if the present trend of environmental degradation
       Zoning, as provided for in the NIPAS legislation, may offer a practical
        approach to manage resource use and ecotourism in protected areas.
       Visitor management systems need to address carrying capacity concerns
       Information, education and communication activities need to be intensified
        in order to gain a major leap in ecotourism development in the protected
       Ecotourism will be constrained unless support infrastructures and facilities
        are developed.
       Trained staff are essential for wise management of protected areas.

                 Opportunities exist for a network of volunteers to assist in the management
                  of protected areas.

  Table 2-3: Matrix of Opportunities and Problems Facing the Use of Protected Areas for Ecotourism
                                    Development in the Philippines

   Category           Opportunities                     Problems/Threats/Issues                          Recommendations
                    Enhanced level of          Resource degradation if unsustainably            Institute and implement an
A.                 awareness on                managed;                                           Environmental and Resource
Environmental      conservation of nature       Disturbance of wildlife species;                 Management Plan
(Physical &        through interpretation &     Destruction or alteration of natural
Ecological)        other related activities;   features;
                    Promote                    Possibility of bio-piracy;
                   conservation practices;      Threat to watershed capacity due to land
                    Enhanced aesthetic        use conversion;
                   value of the resources.      Poorly maintained or lack of access road.
B. Management       Opportunities for the      Lack of trained personnel for ecotourism         Training Program for PAO &
& Operation        development of              management;                                        PAMB on ecotourism/resource
                   ecotourism products and      Lack of funds to promote ecotourism              management;
                   activities;                 management and develop ecotourism products;        GOP to allocate more funds for
                    Promote                    Lack of supporting services and                  ecotourism devt& monitoring;
                   transparency and            appropriate facilities;                            Conduct/Intensify IEC on
                   accountability in            Lack of logistics in carrying out                ecotourism ;
                   resource management;        ecotourism activities and monitoring;              Training Program for
                    Establish a                Lack of awareness of policies in                 communities on livelihood
                   voluntary movement to       ecotourism development among implementers.         Opportunities in ecotourism
                   assist in management of

C. Social           Recreational and           Possible exploitation of local people;           Conduct of Social Preparedness
                   educational opportunities    Negative reaction or aversion of local           Program for local communities;
                   to improve the quality of   people to development because of lack of           Intensify IEC on ecotourism;
                   life;                       information;                                       Institution of clear policies and
                    Enriched knowledge         Conflicting interest in resource utilization.    guidelines in PA management;
                   through interaction and                                                        Adopt appropriate tenurial
                   information exchange                                                           instruments for resource
                   between local                                                                  utilization & management;
                   communities and                                                                Explore development of
                   tourists.                                                                      volunteer service.
D. Economic         Increased                  Possibility of inequity in the distribution of   Training/Employment Program
                   employment                  benefits;                                          for local communities & IPs;
                   opportunities;               Lack of resource valuation to determine          Incentives/Support for
                    Increased revenues        the appropriate schedule of user fees;             community-initiated livelihood
                   from ecotourism              Possibility of displacement of local             projects;
                   activities;                 communities/indigenous peoples.                    Conduct natural resource
                    Livelihood                                                                   valuation to determine user
                   opportunities for local                                                        fees/charges.
                    Foreign investment
                    Improvement on
                   standard of living.

E. Cultural          Enrichment of                 Threat to culture;                           Implement Cultural
                    cultural practices, values      Possibility of exploitation of IPs.          Management Program for the
                    and indigenous                                                                enrichment of indigenous
                    knowledge;                                                                    culture and knowledge
                     Possible or
                    enhanced partnership
                    between the indigenous
                    peoples (IP) and other
                     Improvement in IP’s
                    living condition.
F.                   Promote multi-              Conflicting mandates over potential            Harmonize policies to
Institutional       sectoral                     ecotourism sites (turf issues);                  complement projects/activities.
                    partnership/collaboration     Uncoordinated development plans
                    in conservation.             resulting in conflict in resource management.
G. Political         Opportunities for           Abuse in resource utilization for economic     Ordinances & policies
                    local development;           gains;                                           promoting sustainable mgt of
                     Empowerment of              Ecotourism being used as political             resources; Training of elected
                    local communities in         propaganda;                                      officials to make them
                    park management.              Lack of political will to support ecotourism   advocates for SD


           2.4.1 Cultural Resources for Ecotourism

                 Ecotourism combines cultural and natural resources, often as one product.
                 Rafting the Cagayan River is more than just an adventurous activity for
                 overseas visitors or expatriates, when villages are visited and stories told by
                 local guides. Dolphin watching in the Tanon Strait is enhanced with stories of
                 how local communities are working together to protect dolphins and whales.

                 Beyond the ‘warmth and friendliness’ and ‘hospitality and kindness,’ the
                 unique features of Filipino culture have not been fully emphasized as a
                 tourism resource to motivate and attract overseas travelers to visit the
                 Philippines. Business, visiting friends and relatives, general beach holidays
                 and sightseeing remain the dominant travel motivations for the majority of

                 Whilst there are distinctive examples of Filipino culture (such as festivals,
                 fiestas, museums, churches, handicrafts, artwork and authentic traditional
                 villages) the range of products and delivery to visitors does not appear to be
                 matched to any great extent by travelers who are in search primarily of
                 Filipino culture. Some unique features of Filipino culture are no doubt noticed
                 by visitors but this tends to show up as ‘warmth and friendliness’ in market
                 surveys. By contrast, the domestic travel market is geared highly towards
                 festivals, fiestas, regional cuisine and to a lesser extent, museums and cultural
                 ecotourism products such as the Ifugao Rice Terraces.

      With this as a backdrop, it is important to consider the special characteristics
      of Filipino culture that can be integrated into ecotourism products.

2.4.2 Key Cultural Resources

      Key cultural resources with current or potential adaptation for ecotourism are:

       Festivals and events
       Traditional villages
       Museums and cultural repositories
       Handicrafts, arts and crafts
       Local cuisine
      A summary of these key cultural resources by region is provided in Table 2-4.
      It illustrates that festivals and events are still a major feature in the celebration
      of culture and the delivery of this to visitors in the Philippines. Museums and
      repositories are another important component followed by handicrafts, and arts
      and crafts outlets. Cultural villages, specially recreated for visitors, are not
      widespread. This may be indicative of market trends whereby visitors
      (domestic and international) prefer access to living villages and more authentic
      cultural experiences.

               Table 2-4: Regional Distribution of Key Cultural Resources

           Region      Key Cultural Resources
                       Festivals/ Cultural    Museums/              Handicrafts/   Cuisine/
                       Events     Village     Repositories          Arts/ Crafts   Food
           I           16           1             22                N/A            N/A
           CAR         13           2             6                 8              11
           II          20           N/A           22                9              N/A
           III         28           N/A           2                 N/A            24
           IV          91           10            22                39             34
           V           26           N/A           5                 N/A            N/A
           VI          23           1             32                42             23
           VII         52           N/A           21                N/A            22
           VIII        N/A          N/A           1                 N/A            N/A
           IX          25           2             4                 8              3
           X           10           1             1                 5              4
           XI          16           N/A           9                 7              9
           XII         16           N/A           19                1              N/A
           XIII        35           N/A           N/A               11             N/A
      Source: DOT Regional Offices, 2001

      Legend: N/A – not available at the time of the compilation of the Strategy

2.4.3 Festivals and Events

Role of Festivals and Fiestas in Philippine Life

       One of the conditions that facilitated the conquest of the Philippine
       archipelago by its Spanish colonizers was the amorphous nature of the society
       composed of small kinship units known as barangays. The fiesta became the
       irresistible magnet that drew the entire scattered population to the principal
       settlements where the parish churches were located at least three times a
       year—Holy Week, Corpus Christi, and the feast of the local patron saint. In
       modern economic terms, the fiesta represents four industries: leisure, travel,
       restaurant and entertainment.

Trends in Festivals as a Tourism Resource

       In his book "Fiesta," anthropologist Alejandro Roces points out that "the
       lifeblood of the fiesta is the support of the traditional inhabitants of the
       locality. Like all living traditions, the fiesta has to gain the acceptance of every
       new generation. The Philippines’ pre-war "procession of processions"—La
       Naval de Manila—is now a non-event. On the other hand, two small town
       fiestas that the general public had never heard of till the 50’s have grown to
       spectacular proportions—the Moriones of Marinduque and the Ati-atihan of
       Aklan. They have now become top tourist attractions."

2.4.4 Cultural Villages

       One of the earliest examples of a Philippines purpose-built cultural village is
       the Nayong Pilipino, a 32-acre "village" located next to the Ninoy Aquino
       International Airport. Childhood memories of Metro Manila students include a
       field trip to this "Little Philippines" that features replicas of the country’s
       leading tourist spots, shopping for souvenir items, seeing craft demonstrations
       and viewing various cultural shows featuring regional songs, dramas and

       Such cultural villages were popularized in the 1970s and 1980s and to this day
       still serve a purpose. However, a significant number of cultural workers,
       historians and tourists have found such cultural villages too contrived to be
       truly reflective of Philippine culture. Since the early 1990s, a trend towards
       more authentic representations of cultural life has occurred. Villages such as
       Tam Awan, Baguio and the Talaanding School of Living Traditions, Bukidnon
       in Mindanao, have been developed as show cases for visitors and as centers
       for artists and crafts people. They also have rehabilitation programs which
       teach youths and young adults local art and craft skills and cultural traditions.
       Vigan in North Luzon, Silay in Negros and Intramurous in Manila are ‘real
       life’ examples of Filipino cultural heritage which are becoming increasingly
       popular with both domestic and international visitors. Table 2 – 5

       enumerates the cultural villages which have been developed following the
       trend to showcase local cultures, lifestyle, traditions and artifacts.

                  Table 2-5: Regional Distribution of Cultural Villages

  Region            Cultural Village               Location                 Key Features
  I          Vigan Heritage Village          Vigan, Ilocos Sur      Century old houses showing
                                                                    influence in architecture
  CAR        Baguio Botanical Garden         Leonard Wood Road,     Also called the Igorot
                                             Baguio City            Village, this features native
                                                                    huts typical of Cordillera
             Tam-awan Village                Baguio City            Successful recreation of
                                                                    Ifugao life, art & culture.
  IV         Baclayan Mangyan Settlement     Puerto Galera,         Home of Iraya Mangyan
                                             Oriental Mindoro
             Saclag Mangyan Settlement       San Teodoro,           Iraya Tribe
                                             Oriental Mindoro
             Lantuyang Mangyan               Baco, Oriental         Alangan Tribe
             Settlement                      Mindoro
             Paitan Mangyan Settlement       Naujan, Oriental       Alangan Tribe
             Montelago Mangyan               Naujan, Oriental       Tadyawan Tribe
             Settlement                      Mindoro
             Grambida Mangyan                Victoria, Oriental     Tadyawan Tribe
             Settlement                      Mindoro
             Safa-Sabang B38                 Sabang, Pinamalayan    Tadyawan - Taubuhid
             Mangyan                         Oriental Mindoro
             Batangan Mangyan                Bongabong,             Budhid Tribe
             Settlement                      Oriental Mindoro
             Siange Mangyan                  Bongabong,             Bangon Tribe
             Settlement                      Oriental Mindoro
             Panaytayan Mangyan              Mansalay,              Hanunuo Tribe
             Settlement                      Oriental Mindoro
  VI         Kati-kati                       San Miguel, Jordan,    Aeta settlement which is an
                                             Guimaras               outreach program of Trappist
  IX         Sahaya-Rio Hondo-Campo          Zamboanga City         Colony of Tausugs, Samas
             Muslim                                                 and Badjaos
             Yakan Weaving Village           Zamboanga City         Village of Yakans who are
                                                                    considered among the finest
                                                                    weavers of the country
  X          Gardens of Malasag Ecotourism   Cagayan de Oro         Cultural village of Mindanao
             Village                                                tribes in a botanical setting
              Source: DOT Regional Offices

2.4.5 Museums and Cultural Repositories

       The National Museum and National Historical Institute look after many
       museums and cultural repositories. Others are managed by foundations,
       churches and families. Although a regional breakdown of museums and
       cultural repositories (prepared for the NES) is too lengthy to be presented here,

      in summary there are around 180 such attractions in the country. Most are
      based in cities and towns away from ecotourism areas.

2.4.6 Handicrafts/Arts and Crafts Centers

      Luzon is famous for the vast array of its handicrafts. These include sculpted
      pieces from Paete, wood filigree from Pakil, finely embroidered jusi and pina
      cloth from Lumban and Batangas, Ilocano blankets and traditional woven
      cloth, burnay pottery from Vigan, baskets from the mountain provinces, silver
      filigree from Baguio, abaca products like place mats, coasters and slippers
      from Bicolandia.

      The Visayas region boasts export quality products. Cebu is known for its
      fashion accessories and rattan, bamboo and coral stone furniture; Bohol for its
      hand-woven mats, baskets, hats and bags; Bacolod for its children's clothes,
      Negros Occidental for its pottery items like vases and ash trays.

      Mindanao is known for its wide assortment of exotic goods including Maranao
      brass and bronze products, Yakan tapestries, Tiruray and Bagobo baskets,
      colorful woven cloth from the various indigenous cultural communities in the

2.4.7 Cuisine and Food

      Food is one of the major preoccupations of the Filipino. Baguio serves the
      freshest fruits and vegetable grown in nearby Trinidad Valley. Pampanga is
      known for its sweet meat the "tocino", while Batangas is famous for its
      succulent beef "bulalo" and potent coffee. Bicol is a coconut-growing region
      and most of its popular cuisine use coconut milk and a potpourri of spices.
      Cebu and Palawan serve fresh seafood, seaweed salad and the sweetest
      mangoes. Iloilo is popular for its "pansit molo" and "la paz batchoy." Davao is
      famous for its "inihaw na panga" and exotic fruits like durian, pomelo,
      mangosteen and rambutan, while Zamboanga serves some of the most
      succulent prawns, crabs, lobsters and "curacha."

2.4.8 Implications

       Filipino culture has many distinguishing features yet these do not appear to
        be sought to any great extent by current international markets to the
       Developing more “living” and “real” cultural products rather than purpose
        built cultural villages and museums would respond to global trends for
        authenticity in some ecotourism markets.

       Festivals, fiestas, regional cuisine and to a lesser extent, museums,
        churches and some cultural ecotourism products are important motivators
        for the domestic market.
       Can ecotourism products be developed and positioned in such as way as to
        help maintain and enhance Filipino culture?


2.5.1 International Tourism Trends

      The World Tourism Organization reports that the total number of international
      arrivals reached a record 699 million in 2000, almost 50 million more than in
      1999. This represents an increase in international tourism of 7.4 per cent, its
      highest growth rate in nearly a decade and almost double the increase of 1999
      (3.8 per cent). All regions of the world hosted more tourists in 2000, although
      the fastest developing region continued to be East Asia and the Pacific with a
      growth rate of 14.7 per cent and some 14 million more tourists than in 1999.

      Prior to 11 September 2001, the evolution of the international economy was
      already marked by a slow down of anticipated annual growth in global GNP, a
      decline in world stock markets, and considerable cuts in US and European
      interest rates in an effort to reactivate economies.

      Despite optimistic forecasts, consumer confidence continued to wane,
      contributing to the economic slowdown. As a result discretionary spending on
      tourism is showing signs of decline. The WTO projects that the tourism sector
      in the upcoming years is not expected to perform quite as well as the event
      filled year of 2000 but will increase by a more modest rate of 4.1 per cent for
      the next 10 to 20 years.

2.5.2 Travel Trends to the Asian Region

      East Asia and the Pacific saw growth in tourist arrivals in 2000 driven by big
      increases in China and its special administrative regions of Hong Kong and
      Macao. Southeast Asia, especially Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia and
      Vietnam, is becoming one of the world’s favorite tourism destinations with
      demand outstripping tourist facilities. Australia enjoyed its own tourism boom
      due to the Sydney Olympics and accompanying publicity. Table 2 – 6
      outlines the detailed volume of visitors generated, growth rates and
      markets shares of the countries in the Asia – Pacific region.

                Table 2-6: Arrivals to East Asia and the Pacific Region 2000

                             (Thousand)              Growth Rate (%)          Market Share (%)
                           1999      2000          1999/1998 2000/1999        1999       2000

East Asia/Pacific        97,566       111,894           10.8        14.7       100.0    100.0

China                    27,047        31,229           7.9         15.5        27.7     27.9
Hong Kong                11,328        13,059          11.5         15.3        11.6     11.7
Malaysia                  7,931        10,222          42.9         28.9         8.1      9.1
Thailand                  8,651         9,509          10.3          9.9         8.9      8.5
Macau                     5,050         6,682          11.8         32.3         5.2      6.0
Korea, Republic of        4,660         5,322           9.6         14.2         4.8      4.8
Indonesia                 4,728         5,064           2.6          7.1         4.8      4.5
Australia                 4,459         4,946           7.0         10.9         4.6      4.4
Japan                     4,438         4,757           8.1          7.2         4.5      4.3
Source: WTO Tourism Highlights 2001

2.5.3 Tourism Market Trends in the Philippines

International Tourist Arrivals

       The general trend of arrivals to the Philippines over the past three years shows
       a decline in tourist arrivals into the country and no significant change in the
       source markets. In 1997, a regional economic crisis hit Asia and negatively
       affected arrivals from the main source markets Hardest hit was Korea, which
       was one of our fastest growing markets for the Philippines. Coupled with the
       lingering effects of the crisis was the temporary shut down and subsequent
       reduction of services of Philippine Airlines. Recovery in 1999 was marked by
       a slump in arrivals due to the Sipadan and Palawan kidnappings incidents in
       2000 and 2001, and cessation of air agreements between the Philippines and
       Taiwan. North American markets, which are very sensitive to the peace and
       order of the country, have registered a decline in arrivals (see Table 2-7).

                    Table 2-7: Tourism Arrivals to the Philippines 1996 to 2000

         Country                   1996          1997           1998        1999        2000
1     United States                 373,953       427,431        468,808     463,600     445,043
2     Japan                         350,242       367,714        361,631     387,513     390,517
3     Korea                         173,910       170,087         81,979     133,068     174,966
4     Hong Kong                     149,479       159,606        162,718     160,152     146,858
5     Taiwan                        206,708       246,370        185,869     143,810      75,722
6     Australia                      87,553        93,949         85,655      77,732      75,706
7     United Kingdom                 83,513        95,044         97,704      88,920      74,507
8     Canada                         56,852        64,092         66,756      64,986      61,004
9     Germany                        60,367        62,595         64,207      62,044      51,131
10    Singapore                      43,948        50,344         47,998      51,244      50,276
11    Malaysia                       52,080        60,449         49,144      49,667      42,067
12    France                         21,027        24,089         25,909      24,462      19,179
Other Countries                     389,735       400,753        450,979     463,616     385,193
TOTAL ARRIVALS                    2,049,367     2,222,523      2,149,357   2,170,514   1,992,169

Countries ranked based on 2000 arrival figures               Source: DOT

                 Table 2-8: Arrivals from January to September 2000 and 2001

                     Country                     2000           2001        % Change
         1       United States                     348,639        312,225      -10.4%
         2       Japan                             304,056        283,668        -6.7%
         3       Korea                             126,216        150,919       19.6%
         4       Hong Kong                         111,025        103,175        -7.1%
         5       Taiwan                             55,358         64,372       16.3%
         6       Australia                          54,500         49,926        -8.4%
         7       United Kingdom                     61,257         47,929      -21.8%
         8       Canada                             44,967         40,169      -10.7%
         9       Singapore                          34,438         31,391        -8.8%
         10      Germany                            40,047         31,073      -22.4%
         11      Malaysia                           33,435         23,144      -30.8%
         12      China                              11,226         13,665       21.7%
         13      India                              14,938         12,457      -16.6%
         14      Indonesia                          12,089         12,095         0.0%
         15      France                             15,797         11,064      -30.0%
         Other Countries                           248,711        214,425      -13.8%
         TOTAL ARRIVALS                          1,516,699      1,401,697       -7.6%
        Source: DOT

        As shown in Table 2 – 8, for the first nine months of 2001, the number of
        visitor arrivals has declined by a rate of 7.6 percent over the same period in
        2000. China, Korea and Taiwan are the only major source markets showing
        positive growth in early 2001.

International Visitor Profiles

        The United States with 348,639 arrivals still ranks as the largest international
        market accounting for 22 percent of all arrivals to the Philippines in 2000.
        This represents about 14 percent of American arrivals to Asia. Visiting friends
        and relatives (VFR) (51 percent) and holiday (23 percent) are the main reasons
        for travel. As many of this market are balikbayans, travel arrangements are
        made independently and tend not to be packaged.

        Japan holds second place in terms of arrivals to the Philippines with 390,517
        arrivals in 2000, and represents five percent of Japanese arrivals to Asia. As in
        the previous years, Japanese travelers are mostly male (__%) and visit the
        Philippines for holiday. They arrange their trips independently and many are
        repeat visitors.

        Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea rank 3rd, 4th and 5th, respectively. Travelers
        from these markets are mostly male, about half are packaged, and they visit
        the Philippines for business, golf, beach holidays, gambling and diving. About
        half arrive packaged. More than half Singaporeans are travelling on business.

       United Kingdom registered 87,089 in 1999, representing only four percent of
       UK arrivals to Asia. The typical UK holiday traveler is male, already familiar
       with the Philippines, between the ages of 35-54 and travels independently.

       The Australian market is more evenly distributed among the holiday, VFR and
       business categories. The Philippines accounts for four percent of all Australian
       arrivals to Asia.

       The Canadian market tends to be older with most in the 35-54 year-old
       bracket. Along with German and UK markets, Canadians are generally
       seeking quality nature, adventure and cultural products.

General Patterns of Demand in the Philippines

       The latest visitor sample survey conducted by the DOT shows that the
       majority of visitors from top source markets have come for beach holidays,
       sightseeing and shopping combined. Business is the second reason for travel,
       and visiting friends and relatives rank third. Scuba diving showed relatively
       insignificant figures.

       Destinations most visited out of Metro Manila are Cebu and the Cavite –
       Laguna – Tagaytay – Batangas area. This can be attributed to the tourism-
       readiness of the areas and their proximity and easy access from Manila.
       Likewise, these are also the more developed beach areas, which have several
       sightseeing and shopping points en route. Arrivals from the US were more or
       less evenly spread out over several provinces, which can be attributed to their
       VHR majority purpose of visit. Interestingly their arrivals to Olongapo and
       Subic did not compare competitively with Cebu, Baguio and even Bohol. For
       the German market, the non-traditional and more rustic destinations of Puerto
       Galera, Mindoro, Boracay and Palawan remain the favorites. For the northeast
       Asian markets, particularly Taiwan and Korea, Ilocos Norte registered as the
       most frequented destination which can be attributed to the presence of casinos.
       Other areas frequented offer the same activity i.e. Cebu, Olongapo, and

Ecotourism Tours

       A 2001 inventory of tours being sold based on nature, culture and adventure
       products in natural settings revealed a product mix of:

        28 culture based tours
        45 nature based tours
        23 adventure based tours.

       The distinction between what can be considered mainstream nature tourism
       and ecotourism products is blurred and hence the inventory takes an inclusive

       The inventory indicates that only 25 percent of all the tours are packaged by
       private tour companies whilst 70 percent are offered by either DOT or a
       provincial or municipal tourism office. The remaining five (5) percent are sold
       by a community cooperative or club. As the data are aggregated, some clubs or
       community tours may also be included within the tours offered by DOT or
       Provincial government offices. It is possible the collection of the data was
       weighted towards DOT.

       These results, however, strongly suggest that both the private sector and
       community-based businesses have a major opportunity to increase their role in
       the provision of ecotourism products. By implication this will lead to further
       employment and income generation at the local level.

Market Segments Visiting the Philippines

       The following market segments have been identified as having current interest
       and future potential for ecotourism products in the Philippines. The list was
       derived from tourism statistics, site data analysis, site observations, and
       discussions with travel industry operators. They were then further developed
       from the ETWG survey "Profile of Ecotourism Products in the Philippines"
       submitted by DOT Regional offices.

        Domestic
             Families. Filipino families are usually day visitors who use private
              resorts, public beaches and theme parks during the weekends and
              holidays. Considering the short length of time involved for travel, their
              trips are usually to destinations an hour or an hour-and-a-half away
              from their residences. Common as well are families traveling together,
              and most often times include family "extensions" such as grandparents,
              aunts/uncles and caregivers / house help.

              On the other hand, higher-end Filipinos arrange their trips for long
              weekends to more popular destinations such as Baguio, Batangas and
              even those with an air travel component – Cebu, Bohol or Palawan.
              These trips are usually individually arranged (transport and
              accommodations), length of trip is about two or three nights, and travel
              party is composed of three to five family members.

             Students. Student groups usually take day trips in relation to the
              school’s academic curriculum. The educational trips are most often an
              annual school undertaking covering all levels of primary and secondary
              levels. Travelling in busloads, they visit factories, historical sites,
              science exhibits or centers and end the trip with lunch and leisure time

       in a park. Students in the collegiate level. However, travel in peer
       groups of five to 12. The trips they take involve cramming the group in
       1 or two cars, going to the beach or mountainside and staying for a
       night or two. Most of these are planned for long weekends and
       semester breaks.
      Club members. Domestic special interest tourists are, at present,
       broken down into two dominant activities: mountain climbing and
       scuba diving. They commonly organize their trips with the associations
       or clubs to which they are affiliated, as clubs have better
       connections/linkages with the required service providers (dive masters
       and guides, trail guides and porters). Likewise, they also connect with
       buddies and know about planned trips through gear/dive shops and
       other outdoor equipment or similar specialty stores. Another up-
       coming group are the mountain bikers, who are now into day trips to
       Tagaytay, Cavite and sometimes, Batangas. Some trips to offshore
       destinations such as Guimaras have already been arranged as special
       sport events.

       Some of the associations are school-based, making the general age
       group between 20 to 29. Young professionals, however, keep their
       affiliations with their associations even after school. Others organize
       similar clubs within their areas of work.

       Another steady source of domestic tourists are those traveling for
       office-initiated extra-curricular activities such as team-building
       workshops, fun-runs, family day, office mini-olympics and other social
       activities. Though most of these have planned programs and set
       activities to cover just a day, some participants bring along friends or
       family and extend their stay.

      Pilgrims. Filipinos consider their hometown fiestas as good reasons to
       travel back home. They usually travel with peer groups or families, and
       stay in a relative or friend’s house for the duration of the festival,
       which is commonly three days. The same is true for other religious
       holidays such as Holy Week, All Soul’s Day and Christmas/New Year
       season. In recent years, these travelers visit destinations of nearby
       provinces, maximizing vacation time and travel costs expended.

       There are groups, however, who travel to undertake their yearly
       spiritual devotions (panata), which is comprised of church visitation,
       participation in processions, completing the Way of the Cross, etc.
       These groups go with family members, despite only one of them
       performing the religious obligations.

 International
      Balikbayans. These groups, mostly from North America, arrive as a
       family of four or five and sometimes, with a couple of Caucasian

    friends. Though they used to stay in their relative’s homes while in the
    country, the trend lately points to staying at inexpensive
    accommodation establishments (pensions, inns), where they can cook
    their own meals, entertain guests, etc. Further, they now travel out of
    their hometowns and visit other tourist destinations. In recent years,
    Boracay, Cebu and Davao have been favorites.
   International Travelers on Packaged Tours. Visitors from major
    source markets who avail of packaged tours have matured from the
    usual city-to-city or inter-city tours to more nature-oriented or
    adventure-based experiences. In most instances, these destinations
    cannot accommodate high tourist volumes and therefore need ground
    handling prior to their arrival (pre-booking). For more high-capacity
    destinations (Cebu, Davao and Baguio, for example); however, tourists
    usually pre-arrange their accommodations, intra-country flights and
    airport transfers. The actual arrangements for tours, activities and
    transport are often completed upon arrival, although some popular
    scenic tours are included within a package booked in the source
    market. This type of travel used to be very typical of Westerners alone,
    specifically Europeans, but now the Japanese, Koreans and Hong Kong
    Chinese have adopted the same type of travel arrangements. The
    Taiwanese have kept to packages as these usually involve gaming. The
    Mainland Chinese, on the other hand, are still in the less mature stage
    of city touring and, therefore, stick to packaged tours as well.
   Free and Independent Travelers. FITs are most often seen carrying
    travel guide books (Lonely Planet, Survival Kit to the Philippines,
    Action Asia) and at the tourism offices and establishments requesting
    information on destinations to visit, transportation to take and places to
    stay. They are mostly European who travel in small groups of three or
    four. Even in destinations where sites are almost unknown, they prefer
    to travel without guides from the area.
   Expatriates living in the Philippines. Expatriates, mostly Westerners,
    have somehow adopted the seasonality travel patterns of the Filipinos
    as they follow the same work week schedule. Three-day weekends are
    usually spent for golf, jet skiing, scuba diving or simple rest and
    relaxation in exclusive resorts, of which their corporations are
    members. They travel by land, bring their own vehicle (jet-skis in tow)
    accompanied by co-expatriates and/or one or two family members.
    Longer holidays are usually spent in their own countries and timed
    with their periodic company vacations.
   Scuba Diving. Recreational diving has been one of the more stable
    niche markets of the country. A decade ago, most of the divers were
    westerners making special arrangements through friends, the NTO and
    even directly with the LGUs for special dive arrangements and
    requirements. Currently, with the development of this sector’s
    organization and improvement of facilities and services, it now
    captures more North Asians, who avail of packages to Cebu, Bohol and

             Palawan. Sea flora and fauna are still the major draw, although some
             request for wreck dive sites.
            Other Special Interest Travelers. These groups have been gaining
             ground collectively, although will not register significant volumes per

             Foreign mountaineers have been coming in trickles, mostly European.
             This may be attributed to the unavailability of trekking/ascend
             packages in the markets and at the same time, the difficulty in pre-
             booking expeditions.

             There is a significant volume of foreign religious visitors who come for
             seminars, conferences, outreach programs or as part of their vocational
             duties. Though they confine their activities to religious undertakings
             during their stay, this market may be tapped as a potential leisure
             market after their duties have been fulfilled.

             Tourists engaging in other nature-based activities such as bird
             watching, caving, and other similar, less popular activities have most
             often availed of these trips only as a secondary or coincidental purpose
             of travel.

2.5.4 Global Trends Affecting Tourism

Ecotourism Trends

      In tourism circles, ecotourism and/or nature-based tourism have become
      widely acknowledged to be a valuable part of a destination’s product mix.
      Encompassing soft adventure, culture, activity, wildlife, village and rural
      tourism, ecotourism is based on the outdoors, usually in remote and unspoiled
      natural or cultural surroundings. This interest has come about largely because,
      over the past two decades, an awareness of the environment in which we live,
      a concern for the fragility of the planet, and an appreciation of traditional
      cultures has spread from the concern of a few to a preoccupation amongst
      many educated travelers.

      As interest in personal fitness and sport has grown, and patterns of travel have
      changed from people who want to just come and look, to people who prefer to
      participate and understand. The world has become smaller, and improved
      accessibility, higher disposable incomes and increasing leisure time mean that
      more people expect to travel regularly. There is a trend for a number of "short
      break" trips during the year.

      Many discerning travelers have "been everywhere" and the trend is for the
      mass markets to be fragmenting into niche and special interest markets seeking

      quality experiences with specific themes such as nature, wildlife or adventure.
      Wildlife viewing in Borneo, trekking in the Himalaya, and whale watching in
      New Zealand are the kind of holidays nature travelers take in the early 2000s.
      An important aspect to ecotourism trips is a concern for heritage and how local
      peoples live and interact with their cultural and natural environment.

      Many visitors will pay well for a unique experience. Factors important to these
      fast growing market segments are that the products must be authentic and
      "real", there must be things to do and learn, and facilities must be relatively
      comfortable. Time is often a constraint so accessibility is important.
      Environmental and conservation concerns are paramount to these markets.

      Nature seeking tourists are often in their 40s and upwards and traditionally
      come from Western Europe and North America with more recently from
      Japan. Other Asian nationalities are likely to follow the trend in the medium to
      long term. As a broad generalization, Europeans are observed to be seeking
      culture and lifestyle experiences, North Americans like wilderness and nature
      products, and Asian markets prefer to undertake specific activities in the
      outdoors. Specialized tour wholesalers and operators have emerged in source
      markets to cater to these travelers, offering a depth of knowledge of a
      destination and experienced guiding. NTOs in Asia and the Pacific region
      have dedicated many millions of dollars in promotion to attract these strong
      and lucrative market segments. Prominent examples include recent successful
      campaigns in Thailand, Malaysia, the Mekong Region and Australia.

Quality Tourism

      There is a general trend towards quality throughout the travel industry as
      markets become more demanding, sophisticated and experienced. This means
      that today's travelers will pay for value enhanced products, but will seek value
      for money and quality services throughout the full range of tourism products,
      from budget to top end.

Independent Travelers (FITs)

      Many of the world's growing FIT segments, some of whom are maturing away
      from the younger budget travelers, will also seek out nature tourism
      destinations, preferring a more flexible and individual style of travel but still
      demanding an authentic experience. Although some FIT segments may not
      wish to spend money on accommodation, research shows they will pay well
      for a unique ecotourism product or activity. With a significant ratio of inbound
      leisure visitors traveling independently without prior bookings, the Philippines
      is already experiencing and responding to this FIT demand.


      Taking a regional approach to tourism marketing by combining promotional
      efforts is now widely acknowledged as providing economies of scale, added
      value and sharing power unattainable by individual destinations. Advantages
      include the stretching of budgets, faster growth in destination awareness,
      greater media exposure, earlier product positioning, more effective branding
      and allegiance building, and more rapid penetration into target markets.

Domestic Tourism

      The fostering of domestic tourism is widely recognized as a means of keeping
      the tourism revenue at home, upgrading living standards and achieving
      national objectives. There is a growing realization that international tourism
      can contribute recreational, sport, leisure and educational facilities to host

2.5.5 Ecotourism Trends in the Philippines

      For the past two or three years, ecotourism in the Philippines has slowly been
      gaining attention as a form or purpose of travel. The private sector noted that
      tourists from our major source markets have matured from the usual city-to-
      city tours to the more nature- or adventure-based type of experience.

      Several products have recently been highlighted, but more for their better
      environmental or cultural-oriented practices, and less on the aspects of
      tourism. Nevertheless, these have been given some focus by private tourism
      product developers in coordination with their respective local government

      Northern Palawan, for example, has always been tagged as the country’s last
      frontier due to its preserved marine life and unique limestone landscapes.
      Learning from the unfortunate experiences of other destinations that have been
      poorly developed, Palawan has focused its efforts to the conservation of these
      resources and has capitalized on them as their tourist attractions.

      Several provinces throughout the country are now undertaking the same type
      of careful and well-planned development. The hindering factor, however, for
      their actual development is the lack of knowledge on product development
      (physical) and interpretation (experiential), collaboration amongst several
      stakeholders within the area and linkages with the other sectors of the industry,
      particularly with regard to promotions.

Protected Area Visitors

        To have an idea of the volume of tourists currently visiting ecotourism
        products, visitor counts to select protected areas, natural parks and other
        adventure destinations are taken into consideration. Latest statistics (1998)
        from PAWB show that about 572,000 domestic and 7,600 foreign tourists
        visited protected areas. Several of the sites, though nature parks, are highly
        urbanized and have been attracting excursionists and students on educational
        trips. For example, the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Nature Center in
        Quezon City accounted for 63 percent of the total domestic visitor figures.
        Furthermore, in some areas visited by ETWG members, the monitoring visitor
        arrivals has been very relaxed and many visitors are left uncounted.

        Therefore, a more detailed and categorized visitor count should be developed
        for better monitoring and study. The numbers in the Table 2-9 are likely,
        therefore, to be much higher.

        Table 2-9: Total Visitors to Protected Areas of the Philippines 1995 to 2000

                                 Number of Visitors                          Total
                      Local                             Foreign            Number of       Income
 Year       Male       Female         Total     Male    Female    Total     Visitors     Generated
 1995        N/A         N/A          N/A       N/A      N/A      N/A       639,291    4,611,705.00
 1996     323,901      328,300       652,201    4,445    4,010    8,455     660,656    4,623,124.00
 1997     349,870      296,470       646,340    2,507    4,655    7,162     653,502    5,716,229.00
 1998     317,003      254,765       571,768    3,805    3,798    7,603     579,371    5,298,533.50
 1999     334,525      295,385       629,910    2,864    2,258    5,122     635,032    5,400,290.50
 2000     301,679      262,007       563,686    5,447    4,335    9,782     573,468    5,725,618.20
        Source: PAWB, DENR

Case Studies

        Northern Palawan has been one of the favorite places for ecotourism,
        successfully beating market trends. Almost 10,000 tourists visited El Nido
        resorts in 2000, an increase of more than 100 percent over 1999 figures of
        4,419. The top source markets are Japan, Korea and the domestic market. Next
        is North America, followed by Europe both of which have suffered recent
        downturns. Most travelers are within the ages of 20-39, equally distributed
        between genders and mostly stay for two nights. Even higher than the
        percentage of special interest travelers (divers, cavers, etc.) are honeymooners,
        who accounted for about 31 percent of arrivals in 2000, many of them from
        Korea. General leisure registered almost 43 percent.

        Caving is another nature-based activity currently gaining popularity especially
        amongst domestic markets. Callao Caves in Pinablanca, for example, have
        been receiving a good share of visitors from nearby provinces of Kalinga and
        Isabela, especially pilgrims during Holy Week. Other months would register
        an average of 500 or 600 tourists, concentrated on weekends and holidays.

      Foreign visitors accounted for less than five percent of arrivals, mostly from
      North Asia and some from Europe. Caving activities are combined with river
      trip activities and a visit to the bat cave.

      Olango Island sanctuary in Cebu is acclaimed for its migratory birds and "best
      practices" cooperation amongst all of the area’s stakeholders. Since it
      officially began its operations in January 1999, an estimated 800 to 900
      tourists have experienced Olango, from a number of source markets led by
      Japan and North America.

      Camiguin Island in Northern Mindanao (Region 10) is a popular destination
      due to its natural features and remote setting. Identified by Green Globe as an
      ecotourism destination, the province has been receiving a good volume of both
      domestic and foreign tourists. The latest Visitor Sample Survey indicates that
      it ranks among the top four destinations visited by domestic regional tourists.
      Europe is a major international source market, followed by North America.
      The bulk of visits are during the first semester of the year and include many

2.5.6 Implications for Ecotourism

      The studies of general travel patterns and ecotourism trends in the global,
      regional and local scenarios, reveal that implications to ecotourism in the
      Philippines would be that:

       The domestic market is the country’s main market for ecotourism. Though
        a lower yield market composed of student groups and young professionals,
        it can be banked on for a stable volume and less sensitive type of tourists.
       A campaign is needed to raise awareness of environmental issues and
        Philippines ecotourism attractions to combat domestic travel’s strongest
        competitor, "malling" to attain long term management objectives.
       Due to their strength, Asian visitors have the strongest market potential for
        ecotourism in the short to medium term, specifically Japan, Korea and
       The traditional Western markets for ecotourism are likely to be more long-
        term in the Philippines due to the security situation.
       Ecotourism products in the country are, contrary to common belief,
        available. Existing ones, however, need to be strengthened and enhanced,
        while new products have to be created, with sites better interpreted.
       Destination circuit development has to be undertaken to be able to offer a
        more appealing package for tourists and to involve the private sector.


2.6.1 Government Marketing

      Government marketing of tourism in the Philippines is coordinated by the
      Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Philippine Convention and Visitors
      Corporation (PCVC) and along four main lines:

       Product research and development
       Market research (statistics, reports and studies)
       Formulation of communications and marketing policies, thrusts and
        marketing plan
       International and domestic promotions

2.6.2 Product Market Research

      There is a lack of quality information about tourism source markets within
      DOT and PCVC. The link between knowing market preferences and equating
      these with the appropriate tourism product remains weak. More information is
      also needed on specific activities undertaken during travel to the Philippines
      on source markets.

      In 1991, after the completion of the Tourism Master Plan, the Office of
      Product Research and Development (OPRD) was internally realigned to
      handle specific regions in the country, i.e., Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
      However product research and design appears to have been given a lesser
      priority, second to product planning and destination development arising
      from the realignment of the OPRD’s functions.

      Nevertheless, existing data are processed and combined into a marketing plan,
      wherein tourist-ready products are matched with potential markets. The plan
      also lays out the marketing policies, thrusts and directions to be taken per
      major market. No particular emphasis has been given to ecotourism.


      Whenever a potential site is deemed tourist-ready, an invitational
      familiarization trip is conducted amongst the members of the Philippine
      tourism industry, particularly the tour operators. They are taken on a trip to dry
      run or inspect the sites that are ready for selling, to directly coordinate with the

      destination’s tourism sectors (transport, accommodations, guides, etc.) and to
      come up with a package and price/rate ranges.

      At times, when the product being newly offered is a re-packaging of an
      existing destination or a newly interpreted but current product, the packages
      are formulated by the DOT/PCVC and introduced to the tour wholesalers for
      sale and promotion.


      DOT and PCVC coordinate promotional events such as sales missions and
      trade fairs for destination selling. Private sector participants regularly form a
      consortium in order to evenly distribute the business generated.

      PCVC participates in major trade fairs, such as Internationale Tourismus
      Borse (ITB) in Berlin, World Travel Mart (WTM) in London and Japan
      Association of Travel Agents (JATA) Congress in Japan, and other fairs in
      major markets. Multi-city sales missions often accompany these events. DOT
      overseas offices conduct sales presentations and sales calls to select tour

      Consumer promotions such as food festivals in hotel chains, Philippine
      holiday events (especially Philippine Independence Day), cultural shows and
      fiestas are also being conducted on a regular basis.

      The PCVC conducts its Invitational Travel Program, in which members of the
      travel trade and media are invited on familiarization trips to visit sites in the
      Philippines, with the purpose of orienting front-liners and decision makers on
      the Philippines’ tourism products.

2.6.3 Private Sector Marketing

      Private sector operators link promotional efforts with PCVC’s destination
      marketing at trade fairs, consumer events, sales missions and other
      promotional events. Two elected representatives sit in the PCVC Board of
      Trustees. Packaging and pricing is normally undertaken by the private sector.
      There are times when DOT PCVC requests special rates for product campaign
      launches, off-season selling, image crisis management, etc.

      As profit-oriented entities, the private sector engage in marketing their tourism
      products and packages. Hotels and resorts, for example, tie-up with their
      chains for collective promotion efforts in target markets. Tour operators
      nurture direct links with tour operator counterparts abroad.

      Aside from their own efforts with business partners abroad, the private sector
      generate business leads through participation in DOT PCVC-initiated

2.6.4 Market Images

      With the country undergoing political and economic changes over the past 10
      years, the volatile tourism industry and the destination image has kept its focus
      on general leisure and promoteable business travel such as conventions and
      incentives. Frequent changes in promotional campaigns have hindered the
      establishment of a strong tourism image for the Philippines. The main image
      being projected to the markets continues to be that of islands and beaches,
      supplemented by rich culture and history. Overcoming negative images
      associated with “girls, golf and gambling” remains a priority for DOT.

      Many promotional campaigns did not have their full impact due to lack of
      funds and changes in the administration.

       “Where Asia Wears a Smile” was the original DOT promotion that ran
        from 1973 to 1987.
       "There’s a Fiesta for Everyone" projects the country as a year-round
        destination for festivals.
       "Yes. The Philippines. Now." was used to anchor tourism promotions on
        the "new" Philippines after the 1986 People Power Revolution
       "Fiesta Islands Philippines" projected the country as a cultural destination
        borne by its various festivals.
       "Islands Philippines, Our Islands Have It All", launched in 1991 was
        probably DOT’s best and longest-running promotional campaign with sub-
        campaigns such as Dive Philippines, Golf Philippines, etc.
       "Philippines: The Best of the Islands" was launched in 1996, for the APEC
       "Rediscovery Philippines" was launched in 1998 focusing on the country’s
        culture and history as tourism’s best selling feature.
       Despite that lack of resources, the "7000 Times More…" campaign was
        launched, and carried a more contemporary "digitized" look.
       Currently, “WOW Philippines” is the promotional campaign on the
        Department. WOW, for Wealth of Wonders, uses four images: the tarsier,
        Puerto Princesa Underground River National Park, wreck dive site, and
        Boracay beach. In addition, the current “Volunteer 12” is aimed at
        tapping the seven million Filipinos working and living abroad as
        tourism promoters. This program is envisioned to further stimulate
        and boost visitor arrivals to the Philippines.

2.6.5 Competitive Destinations

      Other Asian countries are the country’s competitors due to similarity in
      ecotourism products offered. In order to assess the level of these country’s
      involvement in ecotourism, several brochures from the main markets of

France, United Kingdom, Australia and Japan were analyzed and similar
products and prices compared.

In France, similar product offerings amongst the Philippines, Indonesia, Laos
PDR, Nepal, India and Uzbekistan were mountain and volcano treks, and
tribal village tours. The highest cost was FF18,700, while the lowest was
offered by the Philippines with FF13,000 (Banaue Rice Terraces). The tribal
village tour to the T’boli’s at Lake Sebu was tagged at FF13,500 non-peak
FF17,500 peak. Between Indonesia and the Philippines, similar products are
jungle treks and river-based activities (kayaking / banca rides). The Palawan
package was offered at FF10,000 while Sulawesi was offered at FF18,400.

In Japan, Philippine packages are also competitively priced. There is a
significant difference, however, in the type of product being sold. The
Philippines offers Palawan’s Tagbanua Family’s Honey Hunting tribal life
experience, while Malaysia offers a wider variety of products ranging from
wildlife observation, cave exploration, and mangrove boat cruises. Despite
Cebu being in the same brochure, there was no mention of ecotourism
destinations such as the Olango Bird Sanctuary, Bohol’s Cambuhat, Loboc
River Cruise or Chocolate Hills.

Australia, Malaysia and Indonesia are flooding tour operators with packages of
different types of ecotourism and nature-based experiences: rainforests, jungle
treks, safaris, tribal village tours, etc. Thailand offers nature appreciation,
tribal village and elephant safaris; Vietnam offers culture whilst the
Philippines trips consist only of the Sagada-Bontoc-Banaue circuit and the
Chocolate Hills.

Feedback from the DOT office in the United Kingdom states that: "In the
internal organizations of most tour operators in the UK, the Philippines is
handled by personnel in charge of Vietnam, Cambodia/Laos PDR (which are
regularly packaged with Thailand) and Africa. In short, the Philippines is
looked at as "emerging and sometimes even unusual destination". Despite
Vietnam’s lack of infrastructure, it is outpacing the Philippines in terms of
attractiveness and "mystique". Even cruises to the Far East include more
Vietnam than Philippines (Manila)".

In comparing the type of promotional materials distributed within the markets
and the way their websites are developed, it is obvious that the Philippines is
not within the same playing field as Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. These
countries have come up with a nature-based branding of promotions, and have
spun around from the traditional sun, sand and sea attractions. They are
already on their second wave of products, with materials made exclusively for
ecotourism destinations and packages, while the Philippines has yet to develop
its base circuits, satellite destinations and activities.

2.6.6 Ecotourism Marketing

      Ecotourism in the Philippines is still in its infant stage. Membership or
      representation in ecotourism/nature-based organizations is negligible.
      Promotional activities conducted target the general leisure market, with
      occasional participation in dive shows.

      There may be upcoming projects such as white-water rafting and other nature-
      based activities. However, inasmuch as the areas wherein these sites are
      located have relatively young tourism industries, local tour operators find
      some difficulty in coordinating tours and coming up with effective or
      profitable packages. The RECs through the DOT regional offices have to
      address the need to create awareness among local communities and forge
      collaboration with the private sector and other institutions to develop the
      areas for ecotourism.

2.6.7 Implications

      Much has yet to be done in marketing terms to fully harness the as yet
      unrecognized potential of ecotourism. Programs should be designed in order to
      achieve the following:

       A market information base for ecotourism could be established as a
        priority to further understand:
            Tourist volumes and growth to specific sites and protected areas, and
             collectively, growth in tourist visits engaged in certain type of nature-
             based and ecotourism activity
            Demographic profile of visitors
            Other travel-related information such as travel arrangements, source of
             destination information, average daily expenditure, etc.
            Information about current and potential ecotourism market segments
            Further market segmentation details will be useful for both
             promotional thrusts and product development directions
       Promotions specific to ecotourism, using a network of Key Sites, to refresh
        and focus the market image and attract higher-yield quality markets
       There is a great need for the appropriate type of product development, in
        order for suitable products to be branded as an ecotourism site
       For the same reason the ETWG was created, there could be an established
        network of linkages between destinations or sites, and the DOT and DENR
        for product development, enhancement and marketing, and with the private
        sector for packaging and promotions

       A data base and monitoring system is needed by which ecotourism
        marketing objectives can be compared to actual results to enable the
        modification of marketing directions and strategies, if required.


2.7.1 Vision in the Tourism Master Plan

      The Tourism Master Plan spelled out the policy of developing three
      development clusters (Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao) whereby each cluster
      should be served by one or two major international gateways and linked to a
      variety of satellite destinations. This required an adjustment of policy in the air
      transport sector where it hss necessitated the:

       Adoption of a more flexible approach in approving inbound air inclusive
        charters and providing scheduled air services on the part of other carriers
       Designation of new domestic and international carriers to service
        secondary airports in the country
       Expansion of domestic and international terminal facilities
       Deregulation of domestic air operations to foster greater competition on
      The Master Plan’s main thrust with water and land transportation was the
      upgrading and development of road connections between air and seaports, and
      tourism centers better known as the inter-modal transport system. Focus
      was also given to the development of inter-island cruising activities for foreign
      markets, and the improvement of domestic ferry services in the Philippines.

2.7.2 Current Situation

      Major policy shifts in air, water and land transportation were initiated to
      address critical bottlenecks in trade, industry, tourism and investments.
      Development thrusts during the past five years have leaned towards
      liberalization and deregulation, resulting in the expansion of transport systems
      supporting regional growth areas, zones and corridors. The three original
      tourism development clusters have since been expanded to include:
      Laoag/Baguio, Clark/Subic, Manila, Cebu and Davao.


      The Philippines’ main international air access is through the Ninoy Aquino
      International Airport (NAIA) in Manila. NAIA is currently being serviced by
      approximately 34 airlines (see Annex __). Travelers can also enter the
      Philippines via Cebu City. The Mactan-Cebu International Airport handles

        both regular and chartered flights from Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan
        and South Korea while the Davao International Airport handles flights from
        Singapore and Manado, Indonesia. Laoag International Airport in North Luzon
        services flights from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Guangzhou.

        Philippine Airlines (PAL) the national flag carrier, services a route network of
        18 on line points in 12 countries, and seven points in four countries on joint
        service basis with other airlines. This includes daily services from Manila to
        San Francisco, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore.

        In terms of weekly air seats, the Philippines lags behind ASEAN neighbors. In
        1999, the Philippines had 106,657 weekly air seats, lower than Malaysia
        (299,409), Thailand (310,491) and Singapore (359,314).

        Liberalization of the aviation industry in 1995 opened new domestic airlines
        and established new international airlines that now service routes once
        dominated by Philippine Air Lines (PAL). The progressive liberalization
        policy adopted has proven to be beneficial, especially in the domestic sector.
        The traveling public now enjoys several choices in airlines and lower fares as
        a result of increased competition. The number of domestic air passengers grew
        by an average of 5.37 percent from 1996 to 2000.

        In terms of infrastructure, the opening of the NAIA Terminal II decongested
        the old terminal and the NAIA Terminal I. The runway of Davao International
        Airport was upgraded and lengthened and can now accommodate larger

        In general, direct air access to some of the more remote but popular
        ecotourism areas (such as El Nido, Palawan, Siargao Island and Batanes
        Islands) has improved along with improved linkages between air and sea
        transport schedules.


        The liberalization and deregulation of the shipping industry de-monopolized
        and expanded services, benefiting both passengers and operators. The
        domestic shipping industry has been through a major improvement, enabling
        Philippine seas to be traversed by bigger, faster, more sophisticated and
        reliable vessels. The private sector responded by replacing their fleet, and
        upgrading and replacing alternative services such as fast ferries and luxury
        liners. However, more stringent safety regulations for the vessel, the crew and
        shore management are needed.


        Road access to ecotourism sites has improved in the last decade. Donor
        agencies have been largely responsible for funding improvements to the

        Philippines’ highway network. Access to and within the five major hubs has
        led to a noticeable increase in use in some areas, for instance, Subic Bay and

2.7.3 Future Plans

        The Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) for 2001 – 2004
        outlines the future prospects in the transport system.


        The country’s accessibility to visitors will be improved by negotiating more
        and better air service agreements (ASA) with partner countries to increase
        weekly air seat capacity to levels at par with ASEAN neighbors. Air carriers
        of countries with which the Philippines has bilateral ASAs will be encouraged
        to maximize utilization of their entitlements. A “trigger mechanism” will be
        institutionalized to facilitate the operationalization of additional seat capacity
        beyond the entitlement allowed in the pertinent ASA. This will automatically
        allow an airline already operating at an average load factor of 70 percent to
        add more seats to immediately respond to demand increase without the need
        for renegotiation.

        The upgrading of domestic airports to international standards will improve
        domestic linkages.


        Major port development and modernization projects will be undertaken during
        2001-2004, particularly in Batangas, Iloilo, Davao, General Santos,
        Zamboanga, Manila North and South Harbor, as well as Cagayan de Oro,
        Capiz and Albay.


        Local roads shall be planned and developed to complement national roads,
        especially in improving access to priority tourism areas.

2.7.4 Implications for Ecotourism

         Improved international air access linkages
         Proximity of regional airports to ecotourism destinations/national parks
         Availability of fast ferry services

       Frequency of scheduled flights, shipping and bus trips
       Upgrading of transport services.


2.8.1 Tourist Facilities

      Tourist accommodation facilities in the Philippines range from economy and
      luxury hotels and resorts with complete amenities, to budget tourist inns and
      family-run home stays.

      As could be gleaned from Table 2 – 10, the total number of accommodation
      establishments increased form 2,281 in 1994 to 3,816 in 1998, or a growth rate
      of 67.29 percent. The hotel sector increased by 49 percent, resort sector by 145
      percent while tourist inns and apartels grew by 32 percent and 34 percent,
      respectively. Of the total accommodation establishments in 1998, hotels
      accounted for 45.49 percent, resorts for 34.51 percent, tourist inns for 17.35
      percent and apartels 2.65 percent

            Table 2-10: Types of Accommodation in the Philippines 1994 and 1998



     1000                                                                   1998


               Hotels       Resorts       T. Inns      Apartels

      Source: DOT

      This expansion of the accommodation sector can be attributed to growing
      demand for hotel accommodation during the period due to increased visitor
      traffic. The holding of various events such as the APEC in 1996 also called for
      the modernization and expansion of hotels particularly in Metro Manila. With
      the declaration of Visit Philippines Year in 2003, existing accommodation
      establishments are expected to expand and upgrade facilities while new
      entrants are anticipated.

      In terms of regional distribution, data from the tourism situation reports of the
      DOT regional offices (reference Table 2 – 11) show that the National Capital
      Region (NCR), Central Luzon (Region III) Southern Tagalog (Region IV),
      Western Visayas (Region VI), and Central Visayas (Region VII) account for

the greatest number of accommodation establishments. The hotel sector is
largely concentrated in the Metro Manila area, reflecting its role as the
national capital and main international gateway. The resort sector is generally
dispersed outside Metro Manila with Regions IV, VI, VII and XI accounting
for the most number of resorts.

                  Table 2-11: Accommodation by Region

                    Region              No. of Establishments
                    NCR                          208
                    CAR                          187
                       I                          95
                      II                         142
                     III                         371
                     IV                          213
                      V                          116
                     VI                          401
                     VII                         203
                    VIII                          73
                     IX                           38
                      X                           89
                     XI                          193
                     XII                          58
                    XIII                          69
                   TOTAL                       2,445
Source: DOT

Research has indicated domestic travelers’ selection of hotels and other
lodging facilities is affected mainly by three factors: competitive pricing;
availability of facilities and services and type and extent of free services (i.e.,
local calls, continental breakfast, etc.)

While tourist accommodation facilities are generally available in the country’s
main destinations, facilities within and around ecotourism sites such as
protected areas are very few, if any. Of the more than 200 protected areas
identified by the Department of Environment & Natural Resources, only a few
offer basic lodging facilities, while some are limited for use of the park’s staff.
Ecotourism lodges, as seen elsewhere in Asia (e.g. Nepal) do not exist to the
same extent in the Philippines. However, villages around these areas
sometimes offer home stays for the more adventurous travelers. A limited
number of camps and cabins (for instance, Eden Resort near Davao City) in
semi-natural settings have been developed over the last five years.

2.8.2 Implications

      With the growing interest in ecotourism in the Philippines, the following needs

       Careful planning for the construction of accommodation in or near Key
       There is a need for sensitive, creative local design for accommodation in
        ecotourism areas;
       The Homestay Program of the DOT is further encouraged; and
       Linkages between the DOT and LGUs for licensing and accreditation
        standards should be strengthened.


      To ensure the safety, comfort and convenience of visitors to ecotourism sites,
      development of support services and the establishment of basic utilities such
      as water, electricity, sewerage and garbage disposal are needed.

2.9.1 Utilities

      Approximately 40 percent of areas along major highways leading to
      ecotourism sites are well served with public telecommunication facilities. The
      advent of new telecommunication technology such as cellular phones has
      provided access even in remote areas of the country. Currently, satellite
      phones are also being introduced at a reasonable cost to cover remote areas.

      Electricity is available in densely populated areas. Due to high power costs,
      the distribution of electricity in remote areas is limited. The government is
      seeking to address this issue through the privatization of the National Power
      Corporation and, thus, the generation, distribution and supply aspects of the
      electric industry.

      Water supply service in far-flung areas such as national parks and other
      ecotourism sites is limited to levels 1 and 2 such as spring boxes and small
      water impoundment. Most of the existing ecotourism sites do not have
      established sewage systems.

2.9.2 General Tourist Information

      Maps and guidebooks for tourists are distributed in various tourism
      information counters and hotel lobbies as well as the regional offices of the

      DOT. Other guidebooks such as Lonely Planet, Action Asia Adventure,
      Philippine Guidebook and the like can be found in major bookstores. In
      general, there is a lack of specific information on ecotourism areas for visitors
      in the Philippines.

2.9.3 Rescue and Medical Services

      Organized professional and volunteer rescue services in the Philippines is in
      the early stages of development. The National Disaster Coordinating Council
      spearheads rescue operations during national emergencies and calamities.
      Other organizations such as the Philippine National Red Cross, 505th Rescue
      Team (under the Philippine Air Force) and others provide rescue services. The
      Bureau of Fire and Protection is in the process of institutionalizing rescue
      operations under its special units in the provinces. Currently there are five
      established rescue centers in Subic Bay, AFP Medical Center in Manila, Cebu,
      Cavite and an Evacuation Assistance Center in Pasay City.

      Some ecotourism-related activities like diving, safety standards are taken
      seriously. Most resorts have good equipment and well-trained instructors and
      dive masters. Currently, there are three recompression chambers in the
      country, in Manila, Subic and Cebu, while a fourth one in Batangas has been

      Health care systems in the Philippines are generally good and with reasonable
      fees. Metro Manila offers world-standard medical facilities (Makati Medical
      Center in Makati and St. Luke’s Hospital in Quezon City are generally
      acknowledged as the best in the country). Major cities outside Metro Manila
      have well-equipped hospitals and can diagnose and treat most injuries and
      illnesses. Provincial capitals have hospitals with basic equipment and supplies
      that are adequate for minor cases. Most municipalities have Rural Health Units
      that are usually staffed by a doctor and a nurse, though several towns may
      share one doctor in remote areas.

2.9.4 Security

      A major issue concerning the development of ecotourism in the country is
      security. Events such as the Sipadan and Palawan kidnappings and the terrorist
      attacks in the US have led to an increase in security operations in most large
      urban areas and key tourism destinations.

2.9.5 Implications

       There is a need for additional rescue operations and standard operating
        procedures in case of emergencies and accidents for ecotourism activities
        such as climbing, caving, rafting etc.

       Additional recompression chambers are needed in dive destinations
       Establishment of observation platforms, view decks and tourism
        information at ecotourism sites
       Establishment of ecologically sound garbage and sewage disposal systems
        in ecotourism sites particularly in remote areas
       Strengthened/ institutionalized         linkages   and   coordination    with
        authorities with regard to security.


2.10.1 Introduction

      This section briefly reviews the current state of knowledge and practice
      associated with socio-cultural and economic impacts of ecotourism in the
      Philippines. A case study approach has been adopted to illustrate the salient
      positive and negative features of ecotourism impacts as they occur in the
      Philippines. Implications for this strategy have been drawn from the case

2.10.2 Environmental and Socio-cultural Impacts and Tourism

      The 1991 Tourism Master Plan reported that the Philippines natural and
      cultural environment have been substantially altered by human activity. Much
      of the forests cover in the mountains and foothills has disappeared, a
      considerable proportion of the coastal mangroves has been removed to make
      way for fish farming, while over-fishing is threatening to reduce the diversity
      and stability of the area’s coastal marine resources. These issues are
      inextricably linked to poverty, over population and competing land uses.

      To illustrate the practical and positive impacts that can arise from ecotourism,
      the following case study examples are presented. There are also a number of
      practical examples that illustrate the importance of managing potential adverse
      impacts and learning lessons from these experiences.

Olango Birds and Seascape Tour (OBST)

      Olango Island, situated 5.5 kilometers east of Mactan Island in the province of
      Cebu is a protected wetland with international importance due to the high
      number of migratory bird species. With assistance from USAID, the Coastal
      Resource Management Project (CRMP) of DENR, Olango Island Bird and
      Seascape Tour was developed since 1997 as a community-based tourism
      development that provides alternative livelihood for island residents.

      Over 1,000 tourists have taken the Birds and Seascape Tour since operations
      started in 1999. The tour is managed and operated by the community who
      formed themselves into a cooperative. The project facilitated the organization
      and empowerment of two villages to participate in identifying management
      goals, priorities and policies on their natural environment, make
      representations to LGUs and visiting organizations.

      Because of proper planning and coordination with the communities, the
      project has been successful in making the community become real stewards of
      protecting their environment, and created pride and self respect in promoting
      their area as an ecotourism destination while at the same time generating
      economic gains.

Tubbataha Reef

      One of the best destinations for scuba diving in the country, the famous
      Tubbataha Reef also inscribed in the World Heritage List can generate
      around P1.6 Million in fees and permits for its three-month dive season. Good
      management has engaged the active participation of various stakeholders in
      protection and tourism, supported by WWF KKP, LGUs and other concerned
      agencies, to ensure the sustainable use of the marine resources. A participatory
      management style has established local enterprises for the community through
      the development of micro-credit systems.

Donsol Whale Shark Encounters

      Whale sharks are the largest fish in the world and grow up to 60ft. in length.
      Congregating in the coastal waters of Donsol in Sorsogon, whale sharks are
      threatened because of the strong demand for their meat and fins. In 1998,
      WWF Kaban Kalikasan ng Pilipinas (KKP) introduced the concept of
      ecotourism to the community to promote the protection of whale sharks as
      well as derive local benefits therefrom.

      Ecotourism activity in Donsol has created an awareness to conserve the whale
      shark amongst the local community, and contributed to a national conservation
      strategy. However, significant local benefits have yet to devolve to the
      community due to competition between village operators and a low profile in
      the market place. Whale shark hunting in other parts of the Philippines and
      overseas threatens the future of the resource, yet based on global trends in
      marine mammal watching, Donsol has substantial potential to be a ‘must-do’
      for nature and adventure travellers.

2.10.3 Economic Impacts and Ecotourism

      There are many community-based tourism projects and resort developments
      that have created positive economic benefits for local residents. Selected case
      studies illustrate this:

Pinatubo Community-based Trekking

      Trekking to the crater lake of the Pinatubo Volcano is a popular ecotourism
      activity that has provided economic opportunities to the residents of Brgy Sta.
      Juliana in Capas, Tarlac Province. A DOT-organized community-managed
      visitor center makes arrangement for guides and porters to include local
      Aetas. Estimated visitor arrivals range from 200 to 300 persons monthly, with
      an average expenditure of P2,000 per tourist. The bulk of the amount that
      tourists pay directly to the community cooperative goes to transportation,
      food, porters and guides, and community and environmental fees.

Bais Dolphin Watching Tours

      The Bais Dolphin Watching tours from Bais organized by Bais City LGU in
      the Tañon Strait has successfully brought revenue to local communities.
      Started as an environmental education exercise by marine biologists, the
      dolphin tours’ office now takes reservations, charters boats, arranges guides,
      and monitors the marine mammal activity. Five specially converted pump
      boats (two LGU-operated and three privately owned) are available daily
      throughout the year. The average percentage of dolphin sightings by visitors is
      very high (over 90 percent) and whales can also be sighted several times per
      month. In 2000 the operation handled a total of nearly 7,000 tourists of whom
      251 were foreigners (USA, Korean and Japanese providing the highest
      numbers). Revenue from the tour operation has shown consistent growth since
      inception in 1996, with a gross of over P1.8 million received in 2000.

El Nido Resorts

      Larger scale resort developments that adhere to principles of ecotourism are an
      effective and sustainable means of providing benefits to the community. Ten
      Knots, a company that operates two resorts in El Nido, have created a
      symbiotic relationship with the community. The project established the El
      Nido Foundation that helps the community develop a variety of business
      opportunities including its own capacity for attracting and supporting tourism.

      The El Nido Foundation was established in 1994 to provide financing
      assistance for small cooperatives and micro-enterprises and has since granted
      loan assistance of P2 million to 500 beneficiaries either individual, working
      groups or associations. Typical projects of the Foundation for the community
      include small retail stores and stalls, and high intensive farming techniques to

      increase productivity to supply the demand for fresh food required by the

      One of El Nido Foundation’s beneficiaries, Ms. Susan Lualhati said, “… it has
      helped the community and the environment by enhancing the ability of the
      local people to share the benefits of tourism. Now, the link between economic
      development and environmental protection is obvious to all of us.”

Puerto Princesa Underground River National Park

      In 1996, total visitors to the Park were 25,064 with 76 percent domestic and 24
      percent foreign nationals. By 1997 the park have increased its annual numbers
      of tourists visitors by 59 percent to 39,979 visitors. Visitors contributed
      P3,722,400 in tourism revenue from cave entry, park entrance and cottages.
      Other benefits generated by tourism go directly to business operators in the

2.10.4 Implications

      Tourism can generate both positive and negative impacts on environmental
      and socio-cultural values. Successful ecotourism is likely to occur in the
      Philippines when:

       Communities have been involved from the initial stages;
       Partnerships with tour operators and resorts have been formed with the
        local community;
       The financial return is an effective incentive to protect the resource base.


2.11.1 Overview

      In 1998, employment in the tourism sector reached 3.37 million, an
      improvement by 32 percent of the total employment generated in 1994 of 2.55
      million. Of this total, the transport sector had the biggest share with 80
      percent, restaurants and similar establishments 15 percent, hotel and lodging
      services sector accounted for 4 percent, and travel agents, tour operators and
      tour guides with 10 percent.

                     Table 2-12: Employment by Sector 1994 and 1998

                                1994                                 1998
 Tourism Sector     Total        Male      Female       Total        Male       Female
Hotels &
Lodging Services     102,755      67,221     35,531     116,835       76,433       40,222
Restaurants and
establishments       385,623     223,777    161,846      528,582      306,736     221,846
Transport          2,062,647   1,821,431    241,216    2,720,008    2,401,916     318,092

Travel Agents,
Tour Operators
& Tour Guides          2,759       1,658      1,102        3,639        2,186       1,453
TOTAL              2,553,784   2,114,087    439,695    3,369,064    2,787,271     581,613
        Source: _______________

        Tourism manpower training in the Philippines is provided by a mix of public
        training institutions, such as the Asian Institute of Tourism (AIT), private
        schools, and in-house training facilities at hotels. Vocational and skills training
        courses are offered by various training institutions. The Technical Education
        Skills Development Authority (TESDA) offers training and certification for
        hotel and restaurant industry entry-level positions.

        Human Resource Development is addressed in the Tourism Master Plan. The
        restructuring of the Hotel and Restaurant Industry Board to the Tourism
        Industry Board Foundation, Inc. (TIBFI) was completed. It covers all sectors
        of the industry and, thus, gives the Board powers to ensure timely availability
        of resources, efficient training centers and trainers.

2.11.2 Training Standards

        Aware of the need to set minimum standards for training programs and
        trainers, the TIBFI has formulated standards that are currently being used for
        accreditation by the DOT. The establishment of the Hotel Tourism Institute of
        the Philippines (HTIP) as the regional training center for the National Capital
        Region was also accomplished. The arrangement developed by the DOT
        whereby it provided the school building and the Hotel and Restaurant
        Association of the Philippines (HRAP) as HTIPs manager and operator will
        be adopted in the establishment of regional training centers in tourism centers
        in Baguio, Cebu and Davao.

        The achievement of the recommended training programs and institutions to
        address the human resource requirements of the industry can be attributed to
        the active participation of relevant government agencies, non-government
        institutions and the private sector.

        As ecotourism becomes increasingly popular in the country, it is imperative to
        address the human resource development in this respect. Specialist skills and

      safety standards relating to ecotourism activities such as caving, trekking,
      scuba-diving, rafting and the like need to be considered.

2.11.3 Training Needs

      Some of these training needs were identified during the Tourism Related
      Industry Conference held last August 2001 while some were summed up
      during the regional ecotourism stakeholders’ workshops. Priorities included:

       A need to upgrade tourism establishment of trends and technology in skills
        and development
            More awareness is needed nationally in areas contributing to efficiency
             and productivity such as Sanitation and Hygiene and Food Safety
       Lack of trained specialized guides
            Design training module for special eco-guides (i.e. mountaineers,
             cavers, katutubo guides, rafters, village guides)
       Lack of trained personnel to attend to emergency cases
            Conduct training-seminars on first-aid, rescue operations and disaster
             preparedness for LGUs and tourism establishment owners
       Need for training of local guides such as boatmen, calesa operators to
        provide quality service to tourists
       Lack of awareness by LGUs and communities of the nature and benefits of
        tourism, and the requirements and processes for tourism development
            Conduct Tourism Awareness Programs
            Undertake Customer Service Seminars for front liners (including
             tricycle drivers, boat operators)
       Preservation and sustainability of indigenous skills for local crafts and
        products (weaving, woodcraft, shellcraft, basketry, native food preparation,
        use of abundant local materials), especially with regard to international
        market design.
       Poor facilities and delivery of hotel and restaurant services due to unskilled
        workers particularly waiters, bartenders, housekeepers and room attendant

2.11.4 Associations and Clubs

      Various ecotourism associations and adventure sports clubs have been
      organized since the advent of ecotourism in the country to provide training for
      members (e.g. rock-climbing, boardsailing, mountaineering, scuba diving,

      The DOT has developed training modules for mountain guiding and cave
      guiding. To date, a total of 257 mountain guides and cave guides have
      participated in seminars conducted in Kalinga, Banaue, Tuguegarao,
      Kidapawan and Bacolod.

      The DOT conducts relevant training programs all over the Philippines (e.g.
      home stay programs, ecotourism awareness programs, seminars for boatmen,

      The development of modules and guidelines for standardization of water-
      rafting skills is under process by the DOT in coordination with water-rafting

2.11.5 Implications for Ecotourism

      Substantial employment and jobs as well as livelihood opportunities can
      be generated from ecotourism. However, based on the foregoing
      assessment the following need to be instituted:

       Training program needed for specialist guides
       Marketing and design for traditional handicraft makers
       Training and safety standards ecotourism activities.



      The Situation Analysis chapter highlights needs and opportunities for
      ecotourism development in the Philippines by taking apart the component
      parts of tourism and examining each in relation to ecotourism. The objectives
      of this chapter are to put the component parts together again and to explain the
      ETWG’s preliminary conclusions about the broad, strategic ideas that should
      underpin the NES. The strategic ideas presented in this chapter were discussed
      at the National Ecotourism Planning Workshop in November 2001 as a
      preliminary “strategic framework” for the NES.

      By presenting the proposed strategic framework as one continuous whole, the
      EO 111’s call for an integrated strategy is addressed. The framework attempts
      to present the strategic ideas in a logical flow and to illustrate the
      interrelationships involved. Eventually, these ideas will be expanded on in
      detail in the NES. In this Preliminary Draft, outlines only are presented later in
      Chapters 4 to 8.

      While the following “Preliminary Strategic Framework” section is presented
      in a positive tone, it nevertheless remains tentative. There is ample opportunity
      to amend the framework after feedback from the next round of consultation
      led by the RECs.


Government Support for Ecotourism

      The Government has clearly demonstrated its willingness to take radical steps
      to foster ecotourism through its actions to date towards implementing EO 111.
      Establishing the NEDC, NESC, ETWG and RECs has involved commitments
      from many government agencies. The concept of a formal partnership between
      government’s resource managers and government’s tourism planners, as
      mandated in EO 111, is unparalleled in other countries. It is an excellent base
      on which to build a strategy.

      Continuing strong government support will be fundamental to developing and
      promoting ecotourism. While there is widespread public enthusiasm for
      ecotourism, it is not yet a major political issue. Ideally, ecotourism and the
      NES should have a prominent political champion, someone able to create a
      sense of urgency and establish the political will for a concerted effort to foster

       At the government agency level, the realities of limited funding must be
       accommodated. However, much can be done without large budgets by merely
       focussing and coordinating effort of many agencies. In this regard, the NES
       will not only serve as a guidebook for the future work of the EO 111 bodies,
       but it should also focus the efforts of many other potential contributors to the
       ecotourism cause. The final NES will contain lists of priority supporting
       actions by other individual stakeholder groups, including government agencies
       as well as non-government organizations and potential donors. These lists will
       have been negotiated with each stakeholder group.

Ecotourism for the Philippines

       For the purposes of this strategy, ecotourism is not viewed as merely an
       imported concept. While the term and the basic idea came from overseas, the
       sustainability of the NES rests with its direct relevance to the real needs and
       opportunities in the Philippines. In this sense the emphasis of the NES will be
       on “ecotourism for the Philippines”, not “Philippines for ecotourism”.

       The Bohol Congress’ Ecotourism Definition (see Section 1.3) established that,
       in the Philippines context, ecotourism will take place in both natural and
       cultural heritage areas. As settings for ecotourism, these areas will require
       careful management. The activities associated with ecotourism will contribute
       to environmental education, including fostering awareness of environmental
       problems. Developing ecotourism will involve the empowerment of local
       communities to participate in and benefit from tourism. Ecotourism will also
       be a product that satisfies visitors.

       The ecotourism agenda for the Philippines is to make the ideals embodied in
       the Bohol Congress’ Ecotourism Definition come true.

General Strategic Approach

       An approach is envisaged that is both “top-down” and “bottom-up”. The “top-
       down” element will be government-led with the overarching aim of
       refocusing, recombining and coordinating government initiatives across a
       range of agencies. The “bottom-up” element will recognize the grass-roots and
       private sector aspects of ecotourism and aim to create mechanisms for
       nurturing ecotourism development through community initiatives and local

       This approach conforms to the Bohol Ecotourism Policy Statement (See
       Section 1.3), which implies that the state should lead the development and
       promotion efforts, using ecotourism as a tool for sustainable development. The
       “integrating system” called for in the Bohol Ecotourism Policy Statement will
       focus initially on nurturing development. Later the focus can switch to
       sustaining viability.

Focussing Stakeholder Efforts

       The foundation of the “top- down” elements will be a system of “Key
       Ecotourism Sites.” These will provide the focus for all government-led
       initiatives under the NES. Key Sites have been chosen (as yet tentatively),
       based on national selection criteria prepared by the NESC, through a process
       involving extensive regional participation lead by the RECs. Once approved
       by the NEDC, Key Sites will be the subject of a campaign of ecotourism
       advocacy by the EO 111 bodies.

       From within the Key Sites, some have been selected as “Banner Key Sites”.
       These will be the flagships of Philippines ecotourism, providing the leading
       images for promotions to both international and domestic tourist markets. In
       addition, a further group of other sites have been identified as “Emerging and
       Potential Key Sites”. These will qualify for regional priority for development
       assistance and will be recognized as candidates in the medium and long term
       for elevation to Key Site status.

       The EO 111 bodies will administer this Key Site system, re-evaluating the list
       of Key Sites from time to time.

Advocacy of Ecotourism in the Key Sites

       The EO 111 bodies will intensively promote the Key Ecotourism Sites concept
       and act as advocates for ecotourism in the Key Sites. This will involve
       identifying cost-effective measures to stimulate and manage ecotourism
       development in Key Sites and drawing the attention of government agencies at
       all levels to ways the agencies can assist. This advocacy role will become a
       primary activity of the EO 111 bodies, particularly the RECs. RECs will seek
       sponsorship and contributions in kind from ecotourism supporters to fund their
       advocacy activities.

Ecotourism Development Program

       As called for in EO 111, a Government-funded Ecotourism Marketing and
       Development Program will be introduced. The funding base for this program
       will be a modest allocation from within the annual budgets of DOT and
       DENR. In addition, donor interest will be sought, particularly from
       international agencies interested in ecotourism and conservation.

       DOT will plan, fund and implement the ecotourism marketing component of
       the Program, with the aim of dramatically raising the profile of Philippines
       ecotourism in both international and domestic markets. DENR will plan, fund
       and implement the ecotourism development component of the Program,
       focussing exclusively on the careful development of appropriate types and
       styles of ecotourism in areas protected for natural and cultural values.

       The two departments will closely coordinate their activities at meetings of the
       EO 111 bodies.

Standards and Accreditation

       The two departments will also coordinate closely, through the EO 111 bodies,
       in the task of assisting the evolution of industry standards for ecotourism and
       systems of accreditation of ecotourism operations.

       The process of setting of standards will begin with safety regulations and
       general operating guidelines for specific activities – eg caving, diving, river
       rafting, whale shark viewing etc. This work, some of which is already
       underway, will involve extensive consultation and partnership with
       appropriate industry associations where they exist. DOT/DENR cooperation in
       this area will combine DOT’s legislative mandate to oversee tourism standards
       with DENR’s ability to insist on compliance as a prerequisite for ecotourism
       operations in protected areas.

       Defining standards of performance for government agencies will be a separate
       initiative, involving the adoption of a custom designed system of best practice
       for activities such as interpretation and visitor management in protected areas
       and in ecotourism guiding. Once again, a combined DOT/DENR approach
       will be taken with coordination by the EO 111 bodies.

       Accreditation will be undertaken on a regional basis led by the RECs,
       according to national guidelines established by NESC. The aim of
       accreditation will be to determine whether operations (community-based,
       private sector, NGO sponsored or government-led) meet the criteria of
       “ecotourism”. The driving rationale for accreditation will be eligibility to
       participate in the various programs of the NES.

Fostering Grass-Roots Initiatives through Funding

       The “bottom-up” components of the NES will be spearheaded by a
       development funding facility (tentatively) called the Ecotourism Development
       Fund. At present this is envisaged as a facility with a fixed life. Its aim will be
       to stimulate worthy models of ecotourism development by providing funding
       to ecotourism projects throughout the Philippines (ie not only in Key Sites).
       International and bilateral donor agencies will be invited to support the fund.

       The vision is that the Fund will be a source of contestable matching funding
       for ecotourism projects within Key Sites. A NEDC appointed Committee of
       Trustees could oversee the Fund. The EO 111 bodies, specifically including
       the RECs, will make funding allocation decisions.

       Eligible projects may be community-based, private sector initiated, NGO
       sponsored or LGU-led. Projects must be accredited as “ecotourism” by the

      appropriate REC. Eligible projects may apply to the Fund for up to 50% of
      funds required for specified activities. The Project must have already raised
      the other 50%. Eligible activities will range from product development,
      training and marketing. Donors may be identified with the matching funds
      provided to specific projects.

Building Professionalism

      The second major plank of the “bottom-up” component of the strategy is a
      program of networking. To be led by the ETWG, the Philippines Ecotourism
      Network (tentative name) will start simply as list of e-mail and postal
      addresses of individuals and organizations actively involved in or keenly
      interested in ecotourism. E-mail bulletins and simple newsletters will begin the
      networking process. Ultimately, other means to share information, including a
      web-site may be introduced. The primary rationale of the network is as a
      mechanism for sharing experiences and, thus, building professionalism.

      Engaging the private sector and grass roots projects will be a key focus
      initially. Networking within sub-groups will be encouraged. Once an effective
      two-way communication is established, the network can become a means to
      spread information and to identify worthy models. A long-term goal will be to
      establish the network as a means to deliver technical assistance to projects at
      grass-roots level.



     The idea of the Key Ecotourism Sites is to select a number of locations and
     products that will be the focus of government attention in the development of
     ecotourism in the Philippines. Key Sites need to be exceptional in some way,
     in keeping with the definition of ecotourism, and be prepared for visitation.
     They will be the focus of both marketing and product development.

     In some cases it may be possible to link the Key Sites to form a travel
     itinerary, especially where the attractions and activities go together well and
     can be packaged. An example of such packaging may be a diving trip or short
     excursion to view wildlife included as part of a general sightseeing tour.

     Amongst the Key Ecotourism Sites a small number of Banner Sites have been
     selected. These are destinations of exceptional image-setting potential. Banner
     Sites will be used in positioning the Philippines as a credible ecotourism
     destination in domestic and international markets.

     A number of Emerging and Potential Key Sites have also been selected as a
     second tier of sites. These have the opportunity to be Key Ecotourism Sites in
     the future, but are not yet ready or positioned for development and/or


     The identification and selection of ecotourism sites in the Philippines was
     undertaken through a participatory process at the national and regional levels.

     A set of criteria and process for selection evolved during the regional
     consultation workshops and deskwork undertaken by the NESC and ETWG. .
     The methodology involved a two-tiered process using specific indicators to
     determine the appropriateness and viability for developing ecotourism.

     The First Level evaluation, which uses a scoring system based on relative
     weights in percentages, assessed sites and product/s according to their:

      Natural and/or cultural features (35 percent)
      Availability of ecotourism product/s (35 percent)
      Level of social/ political support (30 percent).

Natural and cultural features refer to the uniqueness of a site as well as the
richness and significance of its resources. Eocotourism products are
resources and activities that can be developed and promoted that will
generate employment and livelihood opportunities for local people. Social
and political support pertains to the participation of the community and
cooperation of government, private sector and non-governmental
organizations to forge linkages and networks towards the implementation of
plans in close consultation with community.

The Second Level evaluation is priority-setting based on an assessment of
the market demand and future benefits to the community and visitor.
Specifically, this level includes an assessment of the following with
corresponding suggested weights:

 Accessibility of the site from major international and domestic gateways
  and tourism flows (10 percent)
 Current market demand from international and domestic visitors, including
  the potential appeal to these markets (30 percent)
 Availability of visitor facilities and services (25 percent)
 Local benefits accruing to the community through livelihood and
  employment opportunities (30 percent)
 Peace and order, security and safety (5 percent)
The relative weights for the First Level criteria were assigned by the NESC
and ETWG to ensure unilateral application of the criteria by the RECs. The
assignment of relative weights for Second Level criteria was made by the
RECs according to specific circumstances of the regions. These levels of
evaluation served as a basis for the RECs to determine the Key Sites, Banner
Sites as well as the Emerging and Potential Key Ecotourism Sites . The results
were brought to the National Planning Workshop where all the sites were
compared and finally selected based on four regional clusters. The clusters
represent the four main groupings of regions that share a common major
gateway. They consist of:

 Northern Luzon Cluster - Regions I, II, III, CAR (Laoag and Subic/Clark
 Southern Luzon Cluster - Regions IV, V, NCR (Manila gateway)
 Visayas Cluster – Regions VI, VII, VIII (Cebu gateway)
 Mindanao Cluster – Regions IX, X, XI, XII, CARAGA, ARMM (Davao
The list of Key Sites underwent further analysis by the ETWG in order to
rationalize the regional distribution of sites and to ensure that quality sites
were put forward. These adjustments were presented for final approval to the

     The Key Ecotourism Sites identified in the NES will serve as the basis for
     ecotourism development in the Philippines. Detailed interventions at each site
     will be included in the Action Plan.



     Twenty-seven (27) Key Ecotourism Sites and therein fourteen (14) Banner
     Sites for the Philippines were selected as shown in figure

      Figure 4 – 1 Key Ecotourism Sites in the Philippines

            Northern Luzon
       Peñablanca Protected Landscape         Laoag
              Cordillera Rice Terraces
                       Hundred Islands
                          Mt. Pinatubo

          Southern Luzon                                                  Mt. Kanlaon
                                              Clark/ Subic                Tañon Strait
                    Mt. Makiling
         Tagaytay/Taal Volcano                                            Apo Island
                      Mt. Isarog                  Manila                  Olango Island
                      Mt. Mayon
                         Donsol                                           Lake Danao
                    Mt. Bulusan                                           Bohol
             Mt. Guiting-Guiting                                          Sohoton Cave
                       Apo Reef
                        El Nido
               Tubbataha Reef
        Puerto Princesa Under-
                  ground River


                                    Camiguin Island
                                   Misamis Oriental
                                      Agusan Marsh
                                           Mt. Apo
                                         Lake Sebu

         Legend: Banner Sites


    Sixty-four (64) emerging and potential Key Sites were selected as shown in
    figure 4 – 2.

                           Figure 4 – 2: Emerging and Potential
                            Ecotourism Sites in the Philippines
             Northern Luzon
               Mt. Pulag & Kabayan Mummies
                               Sagada Caves
                           Eva Puson Garden
                  Apayao River Welcome Park
      Balbalasang National Park & Chico River
        La Union (Bauang and San Fernando)                                                 Visayas
                                  Magat Dam                               Camotes-Malapascua-Bantayan Islands
                   Biak-na-Bato National Park                             Marabut Marine Park
                      Subic-Bataan Rainforest
                                    Mt. Arayat
                                                  Laoag                   Sagay Protected Seascape & Landscape
                           Pantabangan Dam                                Samar Island
                        Northern Sierra Madre                             Bucari Agaman Reforestation
                                 Palaui Island                            Nogas Island
                             Governors Rapid                              Northwestern Panay Peninsula
                            Baggao Bluewater                              Sibalom National Park
                                  Mt. Tapulao                             Odloman Cave
       Malabing Valley Rainforest & Caves (?)                             Balinsasayao Lake
                                                                          Mt. Talinis
                                                                          Southwestern Cebu Marine Sanctuary Chain
                                                                          Cuartro Islas Protected Seascape/ Landscape (?)
                                                 Clark/ Subic             Higatangan Tourism Zone (?)
                                                                          Cabucgayan Caibira Seascape (?)
                                                                          Bulabog Putian (?)
                                                                          Jawili-Campo Verde (?)
          Southern Luzon                              Manila              Higantes Islands (?)
                                                                          Pande Asucar Seascape & Landscape
                                                                          Taklong-Tandog Island (?)
                          Naujan Lake
                                                                          North Negros Forest Reserve (?)
                  Aurora National Park
                                                                          Kalibo Mangrove Reforestation (?)
                          Mt. Iglit-Baco
                    Calamianes Islands
                       Mt. Palay-Palay
        Pamitinan Protected Landscape
                 Tres Reyes Islands (?)
                         Prieto Diaz (?)
                         Bongsalay (?)


                                                  Samal Island
                                                  Mt. Kitanglad
                                                  Turtle Islands
                                                   Lake Lanao

       Legend: Underline – Emerging Sites
               Italics   -- Potential Sites


     The idea of linking the Key Sites through tour itineraries and packages was
     explored in detail at the National Planning Workshop. The aim of this exercise
     was to look for ways in which regions could enter into joint marketing or
     product development initiatives. This could overcome the fact that visitors do
     not make travel decisions based on regions but more on what products are on
     offer, the cost and the time involved in moving from one place to the next.

     These Key Site itineraries are listed below. Feedback will now be sought by
     the RECs, especially from the private sector operators and travel agents, as to
     the feasibility and likely success of these itineraries.

     In terms of planning, further linkages can be sought via the Philippines
     Ecotourism Network, which aims to facilitate exchanges of technical
     assistance, familiarization trips and joint promotions.





    Government-led efforts to develop and promote ecotourism will focus first on
    the Key Sites. The EO 111 bodies and the DOT/DENR partnership will
    become advocates for ecotourism in the Key Sites, taking every possible
    opportunity to push the cause of ecotourism, especially to other government
    agencies with budgets to spend. Ideally, these advocacy efforts will be
    spearheaded with political support from the highest possible levels, creating a
    sense of urgency about implementing EO 111. The urgency will be based on
    the wide range of government priorities (such as environmental conservation,
    cultural preservation, rural employment, poverty alleviation, outdoor
    education, security issues, enhancement of the national image, diversification
    of tourism products, etc) that can be addressed by ecotourism.

    In addition to this advocacy program, DOT and DENR will lead a program of
    technical assistance to Key Ecotourism Sites, under the guidance of the
    NEDC and NESC. The program will be funded by dedicated allocations
    within DENR’s and DOT’s budgets.

    DOT’s work under the program will focus on marketing and product
    development the ecotourism sites. Emphasis would be on promoting the
    images of the Banner Sites and packaging ecotourism circuits (where
    possible), taking care to match markets and products. The use of brand themes
    for packages which focus on adventure (for instance, trekking in the Ifugao),
    nature (for example, the whale sharks of Donsol) and culture (the Ifugao Rice
    Terraces) will be an effective way to market and position ecotourism amongst
    other mainstream tourism products. Continuous research and enhancement of
    products will also be pursued by the DOT in collaboration with the private
    sector, local communities, DENR and other stakeholders.

    DENR’s work under the program will focus on the careful development of
    appropriate styles of ecotourism in protected areas. This may include the
    phased introduction of a “People and Parks” program to raise awareness of
    protected areas and their values. Coordination with education authorities and
    the nation’s school program could result in increased levels of participation in
    outdoor education and outdoor pursuits training. The overall aim to expose the
    next generation to the values associated with natural and cultural resources.


5.2.1 The Need for an Ecotourism Marketing Program

      An Ecotourism Marketing Program is needed to position the Philippines as a
      significant, vibrant Asian ecotourism destination in international source
      markets. An Action Plan is needed first to assign agency roles and
      responsibilities in terms of short, medium and long-term priorities. .

      DOT and PCVC are the focal points of international destination marketing in
      the Philippines. It is envisaged that these agencies will jointly lead the
      implementation of the Ecotourism Marketing Program. The “Banner Sites”
      have been selected as ecotourism image setters for international source

      LGUs, regional tourism offices, NGOs and tour operators at Key Ecotourism
      Sites will be crucial to supplying the travel industry and domestic market with
      flows of information about ecotourism developments. The Philippines
      Ecotourism Network also has an important role to play in this regard.

5.2.2 The Ecotourism Marketing Program Action Plan

       DOT and PCVC launch an Ecotourism Marketing Program to establish the
        Philippines as a credible ecotourism destination, using Banner Sites as
        image setters (see below).
       The Philippines Ecotourism Network would facilitate national flows of
        information between DOT PCVC, LGUs, Key Ecotourism Sites, and the
        tourism industry (see below).
      Along with the development of ecotourism products, the Marketing Program
      will be a crucial element in the successful implementation of this strategy. The
      key features of such a program would involve:

Marketing Goals

      To increase visitation and more widely spread tourism benefits in rural
      Philippines by building on DOTs current national and international marketing

       To establish the Philippines as an ecotourism destination in target markets,
        focusing on the core products and destinations represented in the Key

       To broaden the tourism product in the Philippines into styles of tourism
        that supports the market image, bringing rural benefits and enhancing
        conservation efforts.

Marketing Objectives

      The Ecotourism Marketing Program is an opportunity to expand on DOT's
      current campaigns, refresh the Philippines’ image, broaden market appeal,
      attract increased private sector investment, encourage community-based
      operators, support the efforts of NGOs and bring tourism revenue to local

      Specifically, the objectives are as follows:

       Encourage a market-led approach to ecotourism development based on
        sound market research and monitoring by advocating for more reliable data
        collection and improved information in ecotourism areas.
       Facilitate greater co-ordination and liaison between the tourism industry
        and organizations concerned with tourism at village, regional, national and
        international levels.
       Encourage Philippines’ travel agents to sell ecotourism destinations by
        keeping them informed of Key Site logistics, attraction improvements and
        local conditions.
       Establish the Philippines as an Asian ecotourism destination by working
        with the private sector and NGOs to package products with focus on the
        ecotourism Key Site circuits.
       Structure the marketing thrust on major sets of existing target markets
        from North America, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Emphasis will be given to
        promotion to niche markets, special interest groups, village tourism
        visitors and FITs, and in the medium-term to Europe, Australia and other
        emerging Asian markets, especially China. The recreational needs of
        domestic tourists will also be recognized.
       Develop overseas destination marketing and promotional programs for
        ecotourism target markets centered on Philippines diving, walking, village,
        culture, wildlife and nature products that reinforce the market image.
       Achieve enhanced ecotourism product development by applying market
        knowledge towards upgrading general management and operational
        standards to the private sector, NGOs and local communities through the
        ETWG and Ecotourism Network.
       Improve overall levels of visitor servicing through a more comprehensive
        approach to visitor information, guide training, safety and interpretation
        with special emphasis on culture and nature products that support the
        market image, co-ordinated by the ETWG and Ecotourism Network.

5.2.3 Ecotourism Market Segments

      Ecotourism destinations in the Philippines are most likely to succeed when
      when there is a mix of tourism products which match market demand. Seven
      distinctive market segments were identified for which ecotourism holds

       Domestic (Families, students, club members, corporate, pilgrims etc)
       Balikbayans
       Packaged Groups (Western and Asian)
       FITs (Western and Asian)
       Expatriates in the Philippines
       Divers
       Other Special Interest Groups (adventure, birdwatchers, religious pilgrims)

5.2.4 Research and Monitoring

      Advocate for market-led development based on sound research and monitoring
      with DOT and DENR.

      Improve the collection and analysis of accurate and timely arrival information
      in ecotourism and protected areas.

5.2.5 Coordination and Liaison Activities

      DOT, DENR and the Philippines Ecotourism Network advocate for tourism
      with other national, regional and local government departments, particularly
      for support for Key Sites. This will help create strong networks between and
      among tourism players in the Philippines, particularly between the LGUs,
      NGOs and the private sector.

5.2.6 Destination Awareness Activities

Market Image

      The market image of a destination needs to reflect reality and accurately match
      visitor expectations. Market images must be supported by deliverable tour
      programs and itineraries. The Philippines needs to be branded and positioned
      in source markets with a strong and distinct market image that features
      ecotourism products, along with current beach and nightlife images. Unique
      selling points might include: whale sharks, whales and dolphins, tarsier,

      Philippines eagle, bat flight, coral reefs (blue coral), wreck diving, river
      running, local boats, volcanoes (Mt. Mayon), tropical forest trekking, etc.

5.2.7 Target Markets

      Build on current target market priorities in the Philippines and expand the base
      to attract visitors with proven interest in ecotourism products.

Primary Targets

       Short haul: Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan
       Long haul: North America and Australia/New Zealand
       Regional expatriates
       Balikbayans
       Domestic segments

Secondary Targets

       Short haul: Other Asian segments (Malaysia, Singapore etc.)
       Long haul Europe (UK, Germany, France, Scandinavian countries,
      DOT PCVC can build on current travel trade networks and direct marketing
      efforts in the short and long haul primary markets for maximum impact and
      cost effectiveness. Direct current business and beach segments into ecotourism
      by offering modules of ecotourism and activity-based adventure as “Business
      Plus” and “Beach Plus” options. Seek out and promote to segments of target
      markets whose travel motivations match the Philippines ecotourism and diving

5.2.8 Overseas Marketing Activities

Market Representation

      Reorient DOT’s current market representation arrangements to help position
      the Philippines as a destination having quality ecotourism products.

International Wholesalers and Tour Operators

      Seek and support international specialist travel wholesalers and tour operators.
      This will be the most cost effective and efficient means of marketing and

       selling ecotourism, particularly in medium and long haul target markets. Niche
       wholesalers such as special interest (nature, culture, wildlife, ecotourism,
       adventure, etc.) and dive operators are of particular interest.

Trade Fairs and Travel Shows

       Feature ecotourism at relevant travel shows for both the trade and consumers
       as a cost-effective means of creating destination awareness, especially when
       supported by the private sector.

Sales Missions, Agent Seminars and Road Shows

       Combine sales missions with trade fairs in target markets for maximum cost
       effectiveness. Travel agent seminars are useful when closely co-ordinated with
       selected international wholesalers and Philippines operators, and arranged well
       in advance.

5.2.9 Promotional Activities in the Philippines

Agents Familiarization Trips

       There can be no better promotion than to get key international ecotourism and
       adventure sales personnel to experience a destination first hand. DOT and the
       ETWG can actively foster targeting agents' familiarization trips to ecotourism
       sites as a cost effective and useful strategy to promote destination awareness in
       partnership with airlines, international wholesalers and Philippines travel

Visiting Media Program

       Actively continue the visiting media program, especially from publications
       and films that reinforce the ecotourism market image, in partnership with
       airlines, wholesalers and operators.


       Be cautious with advertising in all source markets as it can be very costly and
       ineffective unless carefully planned, targeted and monitored. Consider
       ecotourism advertising in the travel trade press in medium and long haul
       targets. Rates in trade publications are considerably lower that general interest
       media, and trade advertising supports the trade strategies in these markets.

Documentary and Feature Films

       Encourage the filming of wildlife, diving and adventure documentaries and
       even feature films in the Philippines as being a cost-effective means of
       promotion, especially when the market image is reinforced in target markets.

Books and CD ROMs

       Actively encourage the publication of books and CD ROMs on ecotourism
       activities in the Philippines. Recognize that certain guidebooks (such as the
       Lonely Planet series) are very influential in determining patterns of travel,
       particularly with FITs.

Special Events

       Annual and one-off sporting events and cultural festivals have been well
       developed for tourism in the Philippines. Multi-sports events, volcano races,
       river running and surfing competitions all reinforce the image. Facilitate
       partnerships with the private sector so special events can, where appropriate,
       be managed, operated and marketed as commercially viable businesses.

       Maximize the coverage and exposure opportunities presented for the
       Philippines by marketing activities linked with International Year of the
       Mountains 2002, International Year of Ecotourism 2002, and so on.

5.2.10 Sales Promotional Material

Brochures and Printed Material

       Destination marketing brochures need to be designed to promote the
       ecotourism destinations. Maximum impact will be achieved if the wider
       tourism industry projects the market image in its promotional material, tailored
       to individual products. A special interest brochure for the Philippines could be
       a key sales tool. Maximum benefits will be achieved if the design of these is
       flexible enough to be used by the travel industry in their own jackets or with a
       blank space for operators to put their own stamps on the back.

       Extend the range of destination printed material to include a new series of high
       quality posters and stickers of extraordinary and collectible images that both
       establish the ecotourism market image, serve as give-away items and provide a
       source of revenue.

Electronic Promotional Tools

       Ensure the new destination brochures are on relevant web sites and strongly
       reflect the ecotourism market image. Websites need to be regularly updated.
       Link the Philippines web sites with international and local agents for
       additional exposure.

       Refer email inquiries promptly to relevant operations as delays reflect against
       the destination.

Promotional Videos and Audio Visuals

       Videos are valuable promotional tools not only for operators but also for
       motivators and media and need to reflect ecotourism activities. They can be
       widely used for trade fairs, sales missions and seminars.

Photographic Resources

       Give priority to building up a photographic resource library of the highest
       quality visuals reflecting the ecotourism market image. Fresh photographic
       images are essential to support the newly designed promotional material, web
       site, audio visual presentations, and for the use of operators and wholesalers.

Public Relations and Press Releases

       Distribute regular press releases, newsletters and announcements, especially to
       the trade and media. This is an excellent and cost effective means of
       generating awareness of ecotourism in the Philippines and keeping the
       destination in the public eye. The private sector must continually keep the
       Ecotourism Network informed of new developments and news items.
       Regularly update a mailing list database of all specialist trade and media
       contacts that have demonstrated an interest in ecotourism in the Philippines.


* In the Final Strategy , an action plan will be inserted here specific, DENR- led
product development activities associated with fostering appropriate style and levels
of ecotourism in protected areas. The Acton Plan will include a timetable for short,
medium, long term priorities



     Globally, standards for ecotourism activities are being developed in order to
     stay true to the concept of ecotourism, provide quality experiences, and uphold
     the safety of clients. Accidents and subsequent litigation have led over the last
     decade to the development of standards for activities that were traditionally
     not regulated. Examples include rafting, caving, mountain guiding and
     trekking in the Philippines..

     The world-wide proliferation of products marketed as ecotourism and
     subsequent perception by many in the industry that its original intention is
     often misunderstood, is another reason why some governments and their
     associated tourism industries have embarked on accreditation programs.

     Ecotourism standards take a variety of forms around the world. They include
     programs that are specifically defined as an ecotourism standard (e.g the
     Nature and Ecotourism Accreditation Program in Australia) to standards for
     nature and adventure activities that are conducted in natural areas and
     associated with ecotourism (e.g. the PADI system for diving).

     Nature and adventure tourism operators, outdoor clubs and individuals have in
     general realized the benefits of having industry standards. Safety standards
     have become a focus for travel wholesalers who will not purchase tours
     without evidence or reputation of safe operating standards. Many tourism
     operators have successfully integrated safety measures into the marketing of
     their products to convince both wholesalers, inbound tour operators and
     customers of a well managed activity.

     With the increasing refinement of ecotourism products and services, the notion
     of ‘best practice’ has been gradually introduced in the Asia Pacific region over
     the last five years. Best practice generally takes the form of guidelines, often
     prepared by advocacy groups in partnership with a government or donor
     agency and tourism industry bodies (e.g. a nature tour guide association or a
     network of villages involved with homestays).

     With increasing specialization in ecotourism, the Philippines National
     Ecotourism Planning Workshop discussed and endorsed the idea that a special
     ‘ecotourism guide’ category be considered by the tourism industry.
     Recognizing local and activity-skilled guides in this way is considered
     necessary in developing a professional dimension in the ecotourism industry.


     Accreditation is the system by which ecotourism industry standards are
     applied. Application of standards can serve a variety of purposes: to maintain
     and improve service; as a means of clearly defining what is and what is not
     ecotourism; for marketing and promotion; and as a criterion for funding

     The concept of accreditation in the Philippines is already well established
     within the DOT. Lessons learned from sectors applying accreditation, (e.g.
     accommodation, caving, rafting and mountain guides) could be applied to the
     development of an ecotourism accreditation system. An overarching concern
     is that such a system should be applied positively, as a way of strengthening
     the industry.

     In relation to the proposed Ecotourism Development Fund, an accreditation
     system could effectively be used as a screening tool or qualifier. It is
     conceivable that RECs could become an agent of accreditation so standards
     are applied and monitored at regional and local levels. Technical assistance or
     other incentives could be used as a means to help ecotourism ventures become
     accredited. In practical terms, this would require a cadre of accredited
     ecotourism assessors who would test and certify individual ecotourism
     operators. Examples of this process already exist with the Philippine Cave
     Guides Association who are DOT accredited assessors and trainers of cave


     As learned in countries such as Australia and New Zealand, standards and
     accreditation work best in a partnership approach between the travel industry
     private sector and government. In the Philippines context as well, standards for
     ecotourism guides, specific activities such as rafting, sea kayaking, whale
     watching and village host programs need to be prepared with technical
     expertise from within the industry. Systems need to be put in place for the
     accreditation of those already in business and those about to enter the industry.
     The Philippines is already showing good progress in this area, often going to
     the extent of using international technical assistance for the development of
     caving, rafting and mountain trekking standards. This is being achieved in
     partnership between DOT and the caving, rafting and mountain trekking
     industry associations.

     Implementing an effective accreditation system will also require cooperation
     between key stakeholders, involving the industry and either DOT or DENR,
     and possibly external professional expertise. Ultimate responsibility for day to
     day application of standards must lie with the ecotourism operators
     themselves. The process for operators to meet standards would occur at
     different levels. The NESC and ETWG currently have mandates for

     preparation of a national policy on accreditation for ecotourism. The RECs, in
     association with LGUs, could then assist operators to meet standards (possibly
     via small grants, the Ecotourism Development Fund, or by obtaining technical
     expertise) and monitor the application of these.


     The following steps are put forward for consideration:

     Short-term priorities (2002 – 2004)

      Clarification of roles and responsibilities for an ecotourism accreditation
       system directed by the NESC and ETWG in association with the RECs and
      Identification by the ETWG, in association with the NESC, RECs and
       LGUs, of an ecotourism accreditation framework which would outline the
       workings of such a system
      Within the ecotourism accreditation framework, the ETWG would identify
       existing standards and any new standards that require preparation
      Pilot use of the accreditation system by the RECs and NESC for funding
       assistance to existing or accredited ecotourism operators working in Key
       Ecotourism Sites;
      Pilot technical assistance projects facilitated through the RECs to help
       ecotourism operators to gain accreditation.
     Medium-term priorities (2002 – 2007)

      Preparation of further standards by industry, REC’s and ETWG;
      Review of the accreditation framework and pilot projects (may require
       external review).
     Long-term priorities (2002 – 2010)

      Key stakeholders working in partnership so that all ecotourism operations
       are accredited by 2010.



     Implementation of the National Ecotourism Strategy could be greatly assisted
     by the establishment of an Ecotourism Development Fund. While the detail of
     the Fund concept has yet to be finalized, the essential idea was endorsed at the
     National Ecotourism Planning Workshop. It is envisaged that the Philippine
     government might seed the Fund and then it would become the focus of
     support for ecotourism from donor agencies.

     In essence, the Fund would provide contestable matching grants for private
     sector and/or community-based projects meeting the definition of
     "ecotourism". The objectives of the Fund might be to:

      to ‘kick-start’ ecotourism development throughout the Philippines by
       fostering models of success
      to assist with training and marketing ecotourism throughout the Philippines
      to facilitate technical assistance to the ecotourism sites.
     The activities that would be eligible for consideration by the Fund include:

      Technical assistance in product development
      Training for ecotourism (private sector, community based, NGO, local or
       national government)
      Ecotourism marketing
      Small-scale infrastructure


     Administration of the Fund would need to be fair, transparent and directed
     towards urgently getting ‘success stories’ established. Clear procedures with a
     mechanism that allows regional and national level decision-making will be
     essential. In practical terms, this means an Ecotourism Development Fund
     with the following characteristics:

      Contestable – meaning it is open to any applications that meet the funding
      50/50 Matched Funding - an applicant would first have to find 50 percent
       of the funds required for the project. Then, if successful in their

        application, the Fund would match the remaining 50 percent funding as a
        grant, based on receipts.
      Regular – there could be up to three funding ‘rounds’ per year
      Empowering RECs – meaning while the Fund would be overseen by the
       NESC or some other nominated national body, applications would first be
       vetted and recommended by the RECs.
      Targeted – the Fund is intended for use in ecotourism project with the
       potential to be models that can be emulated.


     Short-term (2002 – 2004)

      NESC and REC’s prepare the procedures, criteria and timing of the Fund
      Philippine Government endorsement and indications of support from
       relevant donor agencies
      NESC and RECs (or other bodies as deemed appropriate) pilot use of the
       Fund in priority sites (probably Key Sites).
     Medium-term (2002 – 2007)

      NESC and RECs review the efficacy of the Fund
      Continue use of the fund or make adjustments as required.
     Long-term (2002 – 2010)

      Expansion of the Fund into lower priority areas
      Review future use of the Fund.



    The Philippines Ecotourism Network idea is based on the notion that
    additional strength can be derived by linking people involved with ecotourism
    in the Philippines. The National Ecotourism Planning Workshop unanimously
    endorsed the idea.

    Conceived as a mechanism for sharing experiences and thus enhancing
    professionalism, the "network" might be simply an expanding mailing list of
    concerned individuals, private operators, ecotourism development projects,
    NGOs, LGUs, national government agencies, with interests in ecotourism.

    Communications within the network could be initially by e-mail and
    newsletters and then by other means such as websites. The Network is seen as
    eventually being the “beating heart” of ecotourism in the Philippines. As such
    it could become an important conduit for the flow of information for product
    development and for international and domestic marketing. .


    The current ETWG is a government appointed technical working group with
    representatives from:

     Department of Tourism
     Department of Environment and Natural Resource/Protected Areas and
      Wildlife Bureau
     Department of Interior and Local Government
     National Economic Development Authority
    One of the primary roles of the ETWG is to provide technical and
    administrative support to the NESC and NEDC. As prescribed in EO111, the
    ETWG is based for the first three years at DOT, after which it will transfer to
    DENR for a further three-year period. At present, the ETWG operates largely
    as a committee of officials.

    In future, the ETWG is envisaged as the center of the Philippines Ecotourism
    Network. It has already performed this role in coordinating the Regional
    Stakeholder Workshops, running the National Ecotourism Planning Workshop
    and preparing the first Ecotourism Network Newsletter. Supported by the
    NZODA ecotourism project, the ETWG’s short-term priorities are to complete
    the National Ecotourism Strategy, including the identification of Key

    Ecotourism Sites, and assist with establishing the systems and pilot projects by
    which the National Ecotourism Strategy can be implemented. The ETWG’s
    ability to perform these functions has been strengthened by the appointment of
    a full-time Project Coordinator with one full-time and one part-time assistant.
    These positions and the ETWG office are funded jointly by DOT, DENR and
    the NZODA project.

    Successful implementation of the Strategy will require the ETWG to become
    cohesive, outward-reaching and a highly competent organization. Making
    ecotourism work is a relatively new challenge for most members of the
    ETWG. There is a need to strengthen the technical and managerial abilities of
    the ETWG. This could be carried out in a number of ways:

     Placing ETWG members alongside national consultants and experienced
      ecotourism operators in the process of delivering technical assistance to
      local projects
     Having ETWG members involved with work or study exchanges within
      and/or outside the Philippines
     Secondment of NGO or other personnel with ecotourism expertise to work
      alongside the ETWG in its day-to-day duties.
    Depending on the success of these measures, the ETWG could ultimately
    become a stand-alone organization, well supported by partners and donors, at
    the center of a national wide network of ecotourism initiatives. In the
    meantime, at the very least the ETWG needs to become a dedicated working

    While the whole EO 111 approach, including the ETWG, is unique to
    Philippines (and extremely appropriate for the needs of the Philippines),
    successful models for ecotourism organizations do exist elsewhere. In Nepal,
    the Sustainable Tourism Network has members who are ecotourism
    stakeholders from government, NGOs and the private sector and it works
    primarily as a vehicle for sharing information and experience. The Australian
    Ecotourism Association has fostered ecotourism in Australia. In New Zealand,
    the Adventure Tourism Council has assisted the development of industry
    standards, increased business skills and shared information amongst its
    industry members. Donor agencies such as UNDP, the EU, USAID and
    NZODA have proven interests in working with such groups (both
    governmental and non-governmental) especially when there is a clear focus on
    producing results at the grass roots level. Support from these donors for the
    ETWG is conceivable in the short to medium term.


    If the ETWG’s role becomes the center of a web, communicating easily and
    regularly with grass-roots operations, it could become a useful channel for
    delivering technical assistance to ecotourism projects. Ideally, a cadre of

     experienced national consultants will be accumulated around the ETWG,
     capable of delivering technical assistance where it is required on behalf of the
     ETWG. This type of external technical assistance will help get new
     ecotourism businesses up and running and it will ultimately increase the
     capability of the Philippines ecotourism industry to assist itself. Donor funding
     will be required for this activity.

     Existing and potential consultants will need exposure to ecotourism projects in
     order to learn the lessons of experience. Consultants need not be seen as
     ‘experts with all the answers’ but rather as people who have the experience of
     a variety of projects and who can facilitate and empower new entrants to
     achieve their goals.


     Short-term Priorities (2002 – 2004)

      The ETWG continues as the center of an informal network of ecotourism
       operators and projects, sharing information and preparing a regular
       quarterly newsletter
      The function and performance of the ETWG is reviewed in 2003 - 2004
      In 2004, an Issues and Options paper is prepared by the NESC (based on
       the Review), outlining the future purpose and structure of the ETWG or
       Philippines Ecotourism Network
      Members of the ETWG receive further training in and exposure to the
       practical implementation of ecotourism projects.
     Medium-term Priorities (2002 – 2007)

      In 2004, an Issues and Options paper is prepared by the NESC (based on
       the Review), outlining the future purpose and structure of the ETWG or
       Philippines Ecotourism Network
      Consolidate the ETWG’s Philippine Ecotourism Network
     Long-term Priorities (2002 – 2010)

      Establish a clear legislative mandate for the ETWG.


   In the Final Strategy, this chapter will look through the eyes of each of the
   individual stakeholder groups in turn and present a checklist of commitments
   of all the various stakeholders to operationalize the NES. These action plans
   will be negotiated with the stakeholder groups during the remainder of the
   NES planning process. The Stakeholder groupings will be:

   EO 111 Agencies



   Other Central Government Agencies


   Private Sector Interests


   Donor Agencies



     Outputs of the Regional Ecotourism Stakeholders Consultation Workshops


     Outputs of the National Ecotourism Planning Workshop



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