Bam pushes for a more tourist-friendly Philippines

As the Philippines joins the celebration of the World Tourism Day (September 27), a senator hopes to improve the country’s tourist-friendliness through seminars and by penalizing the harassment of domestic and international visitors.

“This bill seeks to ensure a pleasant experience for tourists by discouraging aggressive solicitation and imposing fines for repeat offenders,” Sen. Bam Aquino said in Senate Bill No. 667.

 The measure also establishes tourism help desks in identified tourist havens, where regular patrols should be conducted to safeguard the proper implementation of the law.

 The Department of Tourism, in coordination with the barangay officials, shall promote responsible marketing and conduct regular seminars for the local vendors and residents to foster a tourist-friendly culture among communities located in tourist havens,

“We Filipinos take pride in our hospitality and ability to make guests feel welcome,” Sen. Bam said.

“Ngunit dahil sa paghihirap, naiisip ng iba na pagsamantalahan ang mga turista. We hope to address this with proper training and imposing penalties,” he added.

 Under the measure, the DOT will identify barangays which will be considered as tourist havens, or places that have high volume of tourists who stay for longer than one day.

 The bill punishes unlawful solicitation from tourists who have already expressed their desire not to be bothered by solicitations. First-time offenders will be issued warning while subsequent violations will be meted a P500 fine for each incursion.

Based on data from the DOT, around two million tourists visited the country from January to April of this year, earning the country a reputation of being one of the most sought after travel destinations in the world.

 “With more and more foreign and local travelers in our country, it’s time we develop that tourist-friendly mindset within our communities. Let’s give our tourists a wonderful, hassle-free experience so they come back for more,” Sen. Bam said.

Scroll to top