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Tourism Benchmarking - Seoullo 7017

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Here's a short info video on tourism benchmarking which means looking at other places as models for development.

Latent Environmental Champions

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Before i start off spewing some incoherence for some, let's start with the definition of the word, LATENT.


  • 1(of a quality or state) existing but not yet developed or manifest; hidden or concealed.
    ‘they have a huge reserve of latent talent’
source: Oxford Dictionaries

In tourism, or ecotourism, it would mean that a person can become an active environmental champion or advocate if he is given the right tool to become one. And in this case, that tool is KNOWLEDGE.

And to become an effective champion for conservation, he must be armed with the right knowledge for him to adequately understand and pass on that data to other people in his community, the travel industry and the people he will have to impress on his environmental passion and knowledge. Yup, you can call those recipients, tourists.

I'll try to make this short. Pray with me so you won't get bored.

There are so many areas now in the Philippines (and in other countries, actually) where there is a huge reservoir of latent environmental champions. People who are concerned with the current status of nature and are willing to do something (you have to accept, oftentimes within the confines of their livelihood), but are sorely lacking in fully understanding the dynamics of nature and integrating them into their lives. And I'm not talking only about the guides. It could be anybody or everybody living in a coastal area or forest. Anybody who is a latent environmental champion - not yet there, but eager to become one.

And how ready are they? As ready as them understanding a super complex concept such as.... "biodiversity"!

Yup, stop treating the hoi polloi as a sector that would never get it. Because in reality, a good number of them can easily get it. And yes, some are in the tourism sector. And yes, you can stop treating them as walls, and consider them instead as stepping stones for conservation.

We already have benchmarks, areas where communities with perceived "zero" environmental knowledge have become icons for conservation. Together with some pioneers in ecotourism and conservation in the government and NGOs, we have prepared the trail for more than 20 years for the new champions and environmental "guidance counsellors." It should be an easy path from here.

If you're a current champion oozing with environmental knowledge, share them, don't just brag about them. Don't just tell them that mangroves should be protected. Tell them about ecosystem services, sub-lethal salinity, wave and wind energy dissipation, and.... its aesthetic value (well, you can leave the last one to the tourism and marketing experts). I can talk on so many other things like coastal areas, forests and caves, but you already get the drift. (See? I successfully made this blog short!)

You will be surprised how many and how ready people can transcend their roles from passive audience to active protectors of the environment. They just need the right tool call knowledge.

Bulkheading a Beach in Boracay?! -- NOOO!!

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I was surfing the web and looking at some youtube videos to while away my time when I saw this:

That's in Bolabog Beach, opposite the White Beach. If you notice, there are no tourists in the area, because its at the height of the closure of the island.

But I got really disturbed by something else. Do you also notice it?

They freaking bulkheaded the beach! They want to protect the beachfront properties but they obviously do not realize the long term consequence of bulkheading the beach.

This part of Boracay will eventually lose its beach. Ahhhh.... I don't have time to explain everything here, just watch my other post on beach management -

- http://travelcentralph.blogspot.com/2018/06/beach-management-video-lesson.html

I was hoping that the government agencies tasked to rehabilitate the island would eventually remove the bulkheads and return the beach to its sloping profile.

But no.... I was wrong! A few minutes of walking along the beach gave me another surprise with this!

They are apparently turning the entire (or most) of the beach into bulkheads!

This should be stopped. Or if they want to convince everybody that they're doing the right thing, then they should show scientific and engineering studies that those bulkheads will not destroy the beach.

Bolabog Beach experiences strong wave actions many months of the year. And a bulkhead near the water line is a sure formula to eventually destroy the place. It will protect the properties for some years, but think about the long term......

Ano ba?!

Here's the link to the video I found -- https://youtu.be/R1wAMQErkmU

How Many Workers Were Really Affected by Boracay Closure?

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The 6-months closure of Boracay spells disaster to thousands of families relying on tourism. Numbers were thrown around like trivial statistics as if they were not talking about people and families getting hungry.

But what really is the nearest possible number of families that are affected by the closure?

The Department of Labor and Employment said the directly employed individuals was 17,735 along with 2,005 construction workers.

Many of us who have very little idea about the situation would accept the number without bothering to check. In fact, many actually did not. Heck, many in the tourism industry did not even  have any idea, except in their own businesses. That's why this embattled sector could only whimper and not directly challenge the situation.

Let me quote a part of the article written by the Secretary General of the UNWTO (Mr. Taleb Rifai):

"In these times of global uncertainty, equitable employment is essential to increasing social inclusion, peace and security. With 6% of the world's active population out of work, job creation must be at the forefront of our agendas and the potential of every economic sector to provide decent jobs should be utilized to its fullest.

"Beyond the direct impact, tourism reaches into many sectors, such as construction, manufacturing and IT services, having a multiplier affect along the value chain. It is estimated that every job in the core tourism sector creates about 1.5 additional or indirect jobs in the tourism-related economy."

The core words are: multiplier effect, value chain, direct and indirect jobs.

Those do not only include the construction workers, but also the calamansi and banana farmers in Mindoro, fishermen in surrounding provinces and towns, traders, factory workers of products supplied to Boracay.... and thousands more.

So the more realistic number should be ---- 44,337 workers (17,735+1.5*17,735) (just use the darn calculator if in doubt about the formula).

And if each worker gets a ridiculously small amount of daily wage of Php500.00...... the total loss in wages for that 6 months would be Php3.990 Billion.

And the funny thing is the government has allocated Php448 million to provide as an assistance for island people who would lose their jobs. That amount could have been spent to other areas that really need assistance.  Such a waste..... such......

What I know about governments is that they would do anything to ensure that their people get jobs and be productive members of the societies. What's being done in Boracay really defies common sense.

And don't start arguing with me that it's for the good of the environment. The government does not even need Php20 million to solve the environmental problems in Boracay without resorting to drama. The government people just have to do their jobs, or lose their jobs.

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