UP Diliman (UPD) Chancellor Edgardo Carlo L. Vistan II recently attended an international conference in support of the Phnom Penh Declaration on the International Code for the Protection of Tourists (Code).
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) website, the Code is the first “legal instrument designed to create internationally recognized standards for the protection of tourists at the international level.”
The UNWTO is the UN agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable, and universally accessible tourism.
The Philippines is among the UNWTO member states of the Asia and Pacific region that adopted the Code. This means that the country is among those that will promote the Code’s dissemination and implementation as a fundamental tool that ensures clear, transparent, and efficient frameworks to protect tourists and foster confidence in travel.
Vistan was in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on June 16 as part of the Philippine delegation at the 35th Joint Meeting of the Regional Commission for East Asia and the Pacific and the Commission for South Asia. Held from June 15 to 17, the conference on the Code was a platform for regional tourism leaders to share their insights, best practices, and lessons learned on how the Code supports tourism recovery after the severe crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the same time, Vistan was among the UPD representatives who received from the UNWTO the recognition of the Batanes Tourism and Hospitality Monitoring Center (BTHMC) as the newest member of the International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories (INSTO).
INSTO is one of the UNWTO programs developed in conjunction with the United Nations Development Program. The program seeks to attain the objectives of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs.
The INSTO website describes it as “a network of tourism observatories monitoring the economic, environmental, and social impact of tourism at the destination level.”
INSTO’s mission is to “support and connect destinations that are committed to the regular monitoring of economic, environmental, and social impact of tourism to unlock the power of evidence-based decision making at the destination-level, fostering sustainable tourism practices locally and globally,” stated on its website.
The BTHMC received its letter of acceptance from Dirk Glaesser, PhD, director of the UNWTO Sustainable Development of Tourism Department.
“I am pleased to inform you that, after careful consideration and verification of compliance with the established prerequisites by the UNWTO Sustainable Development of Tourism Department and based on its positive recommendation, the aforementioned application has been approved. Consequently, the monitoring center is accepted as a member of INSTO,” Glaesser wrote.
The BTHMC is managed by a multidisciplinary research team from the UPD Asian Institute of Tourism (AIT), the UPD College of Home Economics Department of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institution Management (DHRIM), and the UPD College of Engineering Institute of Civil Engineering (ICE).
The BTHMC researchers from UPD are Edieser DL. Dela Santa, PhD, a professor of tourism and former dean of the AIT; Mary Anne Ramos-Tumanan, PhD, a professor of hotel, restaurant, and institution management; Augustus C. Resurreccion, PhD, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the ICE; Ma. Princess Jill V. Meneses, former faculty member of the DHRIM; and BTHMC research associate and independent program management consultant Allerine Isles, an alumna of the AIT.