Thursday, May 15, 2014

Rebuilding Economies through Tourism

After the initial chaos of donating and sending relief goods, concerned citizens have been asking – What else can we do to help? 
Contrary to what we may have assumed, putting Yolanda-stricken areas back to their working and stable form is still a long and arduous process.  Rehabilitation work, though happening in many areas – will take many months and years to complete.
 While it may not be practical for all working-class to visit and participate in week-long, even month-long effort, there’s one simple way were ALL of us can do to help.  Rebuild local economy through tourism.    

Imagine a simple scenario -  if just half of the ~1.3 million annual visitors of Boracay spend their vacation in Tacloban and nearby area this year, that’s already double of last year’s Eastern Visayas’ tourist volume!  The huge influx of money will speed up recovery and growth of Tacloban.   Not only that - it will surely bring back the proud smiles of our local folks, and the confidence to move beyond the pains and sadness caused by Yolanda…
Money that we, as tourist will spend for transport,  meals, hotels, tour guides and other service fees – will go a long way.  Collectively,  we’ll be able to help sustain relevant small and big businesses, and re-establish the broken supply chain that once move the local economy.  Of course, an option to do few hours of actual rehabilitation work may be included in the itinerary, and/or donations to communities that are still getting meager or minimal financial support.

So have FUN, and help on the side.  Call your friends and buddies, book your flights and hotels – and LET’S GO!

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