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DOT: Int'l accommodation assessors to test quality standards of hotels in PHL tourist destination PDF Print E-mail

By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, May 8 (PNA) -- In its efforts to increase the competitiveness of the country's tourism industry, the Department of Tourism (DOT) has employed a group of international accommodation assessors to check starting this month if Philippine hotels and resorts adhere to globally-accepted quality standards and practices.

According to the DOT, its new quality assurance and accreditation standards system -- which was launched last year -- will be applied and tested in 155 hotels and resorts located in main tourist destinations.

The DOT said that these include Cebu, Bohol, Davao, and Palawan. If successful in the pilot areas, DOT will consider an expansion nationwide.

Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr., in a statement, expressed hope that the agency’s new quality standards would benefit the tourism industry significantly.

“Through the DOT’s new quality assurance and accreditation framework, we hope to motivate Philippine hotels and resorts as they strive to maintain and enhance the quality of their services and facilities,” Jimenez said.

“With a positive outlook for the Philippine travel and tourism industry, other industries from transportation to recreational and lodging facilities, cultural centers, and community-based handicraft businesses, and local attractions are expected to benefit from the said program,” he added.

He also said that the Philippines Improving Competitiveness in Tourism is designed to assist the government's tourism roadmap of reaching the 10 million tourist arrivals by 2016.

The Hotel and Resorts Quality Assurance and Accreditation System is an internationally recognized guide that seeks to assist visitors in terms of the quality, service, and comfort provided by accommodation businesses of all sizes and types in the Philippines.

Under this system, DOT recruited 10 International Assessors (IAs) who will undergo an orientation, along with DOT Area Officers and industry third party auditors, on the new standards to prepare for joint pilot assessments.

The project will also zero in on the service, hospitality, efficiency, and food provided by the pilot hotels and resorts apart from focusing on quality over and above the provision of facilities.

Accommodations will also be graded according to their environmental practices, comparative review against international quality assurance systems, and overall guest experience from their arrival until their departure.

In getting an independent and official seal of assurance from DOT, hotel and resort owners will gain access to assisted manpower skills programs; promotional support such as being included in DOT-accredited listings; technical assistance in planning, research, and development; as well as favorable endorsement to relevant government departments for access to fiscal and non-fiscal incentives. (PNA)
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