NEDA 3 and Orient Integrated Development Consultants, Inc. (OIDCI) conducted a two-day webinar on enhancing capacities for sustainable and competitive tourism in Central Luzon on 17 -18 August 2020.  This is part of the on-going research project in the region titled Tourism Agglomeration in Central Luzon: Characterization and Assessment of Impact on Local Development. 

The main objective of this capacity building activity was to provide participants with knowledge and skills in (i) formulating tourism development framework for the preparation or updating of the tourism development plan, and (ii) assessing the impacts of tourism agglomeration in the region.

NEDA 3 OIC Regional Director Agustin Mendoza in his opening remarks cited that the virtual seminar was very timely and relevant as tourism is among the sectors hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. He emphasized that measures to support tourism businesses as well as safeguard jobs and incomes are critical for the sector. The formulation of a sustainable tourism development framework is imperative in ensuring the survival of tourism firms and ensuring that the sector emerge more competitive and sustainable in the “new normal” state.

The OIDCI team, led by Dr. Ceasar Cororaton, served as resource speakers. Among the topics discussed were i) National Tourism Development Plan and Central Luzon Development Plan-Tourism Sector, ii) Cunha-Cunha Tourism Agglomeration Framework, iii) Analysis of economic, socio-cultural, environmental, and institutional impacts of tourism agglomeration, and iv) the proposed Sustainable Tourism Development Framework for Central Luzon.  

Hands-on training on the R program and R Studio softwares, and simulation of Input-Output model were also part of the training.

About 60 participants comprising planners and tourism officers of the seven provinces and two highly urbanized cities in Central Luzon, development partners from the regional line agencies, Regional Development Council III private sector representatives, NEDA Central Office and NEDA 3 staff joined the webinar via Zoom.