All roads lead to Negros Occidental, the sugar capital of the Philippines and home of the world-renowned, Panaad Festival as it is set to host the 15th National Convention of the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP) from October 2 to 4.
Hosted by the Province of Negros Occidental and co-hosted by Bacolod City, the convention will gather thousands of tourism officers, local government officials, legislators and tourism advocates from all over the country to discuss the booming domestic-tourism industry of the country.
With the theme “Tourism and Development in the Community”, the said gathering will highlight the Pearl Awards, which formally recognizes the Best Tourism Events, the Best LGU Tourism Program, the Best Tourism-Week Celebration (provincial, city and municipal levels) and the Most Outstanding Tourism Officers.
The delegates will be welcomed by the province host in an opening ceremony at the Provincial Capitol Lagoon with a parade of traditional and regional costumes.
A guided immersion tour (community exposure) will be held on the second day showcasing the best tourism destinations and practices in the province like a farm tour in Victorias City, a nature adventure in Murcia, a culture and heritage tour in Silay City and a marine ecotourism tour in Sagay City.
Among the topics to be discussed are the 2015 ASEAN Tourism Integration: Prospects, Challenges and Opportunities; 2015 ASEAN Visit Philippines Year: Advancing the Unique Brand of Philippine Tourism Destinations and Hospitality Experience; Ensuring Competitiveness and Effective Strategies in Promotions and Marketing of Community Based Tourism Products; Innovative Approaches in Mainstreaming Gender and Development (GAD) in the Tourism Sector and a discussion on the Tourism Inter-Agency Convergence Program: Making More-Fun Work in the Philippines.
ATOP is the national association of tourism officers formed in 2000 to help professionalize frontline visitor service in local governments and create a forum for collaboration and advocacy.* /Capitol News