USTGS-CCCPET, CCPED capacitate Philippine tourism officers

The Capacity Building Seminar-Workshop on Cultural Heritage Tourism and Heritage Education and Interpretation was conceptualized with the recognition of the role of culture, arts, history, and heritage in the tourism industry as the source of all memorable tourism experiences. As tourism becomes a global phenomenon and concern, a deeper appreciation of the rigors of cultural heritage tourism could direct a more responsive education and meaningful interpretation of people and places. Through a collaboration, the University of Santo Tomas Graduate School – Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics (CCCPET) and Center for Continuing Professional Education and Development (CCPED) and Association of Tourism Officers in the Philippines (ATOP) assume this responsibility and advocacy to inculcate the creative role of tourism officers on the lives of every traveler and impress the critical role of tourism in the overall development of the country.

The six-day seminar-workshop with two modules such as Cultural Heritage Tourism and Heritage Education and Interpretation is a combination of lectures, workshops, and fieldwork.

The poll of speakers consists of Thomasian educators and practitioners from the field of cultural heritage, tourism, architecture, advertising, and communication.

Dr. Eric B. Zerrudo, Director of CCCPET, conceptualized the whole program and delivered a majority of the lectures on cultural heritage concepts, development framework, interpretation framework, tourism studies, and the Filipino brand of service. He was joined by Atty. Gezzez Giezi G. Granado (Dean of the College of Tourism and Hospitality Management) in discussing tourism laws and legislations, and Jame Monren Mercado (Faculty Member of College of Tourism and Hospitality Management), who presented his researches on culinary and tourism development plan. UST Cultural Heritage Studies alumni presented different case studies such as festival loyalty by John Christopher Mesana; hospitality and management by April Joy Dopeño; culture in the planning framework and memory project by Kinna Mae G. Kwan; graphic arts in Philippine prints by Carla Gamalinda; and giant lantern documentation by Raphael Emmanuelle Kalaw. They were also joined by Michael Manalo, a Thomasian architect and professor who discussed conservation management planning, and Philippe Jose Hernandez discussed the role of communication in heritage.

Other speakers invited were Mickel Ollave, Community Organizer of Puerto Princesa Underground Subterranean River Natural Park, who shared their best practices of community organizing; Cecille Gelicame of De La Salle University Dasmariñas shared the role of curators in historical and heritage sites; and Mr. Reymart Cerin, a practitioner in the field of advertising also shared his experiences in branding and marketing of heritage sites.

The seminar-workshop was attended by 41 tourism officers from different provinces, cities and municipalities in the Philippines. It was held in Prime City Resort Hotel in Angeles City, Pampanga from February 4-9, 2020.

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