The shadow of the Covid-19 virus affecting travel and tourism did not stop PATA Philippines chapter from holding their First Business Assembly for the year.
It was business as usual for PATA Philippine president Bob Zozobrado and the 2020 Board of Directors as their event was graced by the presence of DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat who inducted the chapter’s incoming Board as follows: Roberto Zozobrado (Chairman), Benito Bengzon Jr. (Vice-Chairman), Dakila Gonzales (Secretary-General), Marlene Insigna (Treasurer), Apolonio Anota, Jr.(Legal Counsel), Onelle Pacheco-Verzosa (Trustee, Membership), Teodoro Espallardo (Trustee, Programs), Ma.Paz Alberto (Trustee, Education), Agnes Macapia (Trustee, Industry Liaison), Simon Ang (Trustee – Government Liaison), Isabel Garcia-Lee (Trustee – Ways and Means), and Mikhaela de la Paz (Secretariat officer).
Secretary Puyat left an early meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on infectious diseases to make an impassioned plea to support DOT’s Domestic tourism thrust. DOT’s program, in cooperation with the private sector, is to alleviate the negative effects brought about by present and looming travel bans that will greatly affect tourism revenue.
For his part, Zozobrado revealed that former DOT Secretary Mina Gabor has offered PATA an exclusive partnership for an international tourism event. Gabor’s school, The International School of SustainableTourism has just won the bid to host the first World EcoTourism Travelmart that is going to be in the Philippines in September this year.
“She called me and said she wanted PATA to be the exclusive association partner.It is a great opportunity for us and we will be harnessing the support of everybody in the organisation especially the student chapters,” he said.
Schools with Tourism and Hospitality courses have always been top of mind for Zozobrado’s PATA leadership, making sure that the future leaders and stakeholders of the two industries will be adept to the present and future trends, issues, and conditions to bring Philippine tourism to greater heights.
Now numbering eight schools nationwide, PATA Philippines is offering its students the expertise of all its members and share it with the students at their forums and conventions. The conditions are that they are members of PATA and that they would have to make a commitment that they should continue to have tourism activities in each of their schools.
Presently, the eight member schools are: Lyceum of the Philippines University; Far Eastern University; Enderun Colleges; PATTS College of Aeronautics; Colegio de San Juan de Letran; De La Salle College of St Benilde; Treston International College; and the Univerity of Baguio.
“These student chapters that we have already established have tourism forums every other month in their schools. They have to be more active especially in the face of calamities. We should not look defeated, but we should strive more that we are winning the game,” Zozobrado said.