Lingayen — The Provincial Tourism Operations Division (PTOD) has taken steps “to furtherstrengthen tourism and culture sector groups to make them function better.” The move is necessary, PTOD Chief Officer Ma. Louisa Elduayan said to bolster the province’s tourism industry and reinvigorate the distinct Pangasinense culture.
PTOD’s enduring commitment supports the “I Love Pangasinan” campaign, a two-fold advocacy launched in 2010 which promotes tourism and inculcates cultural sensitivities among Pangasinenses.
“We regularly meet designated tourism officers of Local Government Units (LGUs) and convene them in trainings and seminars; help them in planning and in the validation of tourism sites as part of the integration of the provincial and municipal governments tourism development plans,” she said.
“Moreover, the provincial government assists LGUs through massive promotions of their tourist destinations and improving the road access leading to their tourism sites,” Elduayan added.
Elduayan said the present administration also gives technical assistance, support and services to Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) which serve as partners in addressing the challenges of tourism and cultural development.
Three tourism sector groups supportive of the province’s tourism promotions include Pangasinan Visitors’ Bureau (PVB), Pangasinan Council of Tourism Industries Incorporated (PCTII), Pangasinan Tourism Officers Associations (PTOA) while three others — Ulupan na Pansiansiay Salitan Pangasinan (UPSP), Sulming Ed Pangasinan and the Pangasinan Historical and Cultural Commission (PHCC) — have been closely working with PTOD on the cultural and historical concerns of Pangasinan.
PVB is an NGO organized by the Manila North Tollways Corporation which manages the North Luzon Expressway. It is under the North Philippines Visitors’ Bureau (NPVB).
Stakeholders in the tourism industry will hold a general assembly on August 1, Thursday, at Kuya Max Restaurant in De Venecia Highway, Dagupan City while the reorganization of the PTOA, a league of tourism officers in the province was held on July 31, Wednesday, at the Capitol Resort Hotel, here.
PCTII, on the other hand, is an outfit which the provincial government helped organize to augment efforts geared at improving tourism-related enterprises.
Elduayan said the assistance given to cultural organizations is dependent on their needs that jive with the thrust of the present administration.
The UPSP has been a good partner of the provincial government with its responsive and critical attention most especially in preserving the Pangasinan language.
In 2011, PHCC was commissioned by the provincial government through a provincial ordinance to conduct researches on Pangasinan culture and history. It is headed by former Vice Governor Gonzalo Duque.
PHCC’s latest research study on Pangasinan History and Culture Development and the publication of Pangasinan History Book were presented during the 433rd Agew na Pangasinan celebration held April 5, this year.
Sulming Ed Pangasinan is the newest cultural organization in the province which focuses on the promotion and preservation of Pangasinan culture and the arts.
The PTOD is currently working on the creation of Tour Operators Association to establish a mother organization of tour operators in the province. (PIO/Mark Gerry Naval Oblanca)