Quality, not only quantity, is problem of Bukidnon’s hotel & restaurant sector

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/12 Sept) – Quality of amenities and services of hotels and restaurants in Bukidnon, not just quantity, is the bigger problem in attracting tourists, a tourism official in Northern Mindanao said.

Maria Elena O. Manalo, supervising tourism operation officer of the Department of Tourism in Region 10, cited the substandard quality of amenities and services in local hotels and restaurants as a deterrent to tourists.

But she noted that the local private sector can do something and local tourist promoters must not stop.

She said local hotels and restaurants must start improving their small business entities as tourists look at quality of services, cleanliness, hospitality, and efficiency.

“They will adjust to the available players but the small players must be of high quality,” she added.

Manalo, who appeared before the Bukidnon Sangguniang Panlalawigan today to appraise provincial legislators of the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP), said an industry-wide consciousness is needed to upgrade quality standards.

“Let’s make use of our present resources. Let’s improve on them and let’s flaunt it,” she said of Bukidnon’s limited hotels and restaurants.

Manalo was commenting on the update by Vice Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr. of the lack of hotel rooms and restaurants in the province as the Bukidnon Kaamulan Chamber of Commerce and Industry bids to host the 2014 Mindanao Business Conference.

She said the participants can fit in to the available local resources. “As long as the local accommodations are of good quality also,” she added.

Manalo cited that among the thrusts in the NTDP in the region is training tourism stakeholders on quality services, citing as examples hotel room presentation, sanitation, and other related services.

Manalo said the DOT can work with the private sector in organizing training programs to upgrade the human resource aspect of improving quality.

She cited that they are intensifying training programs for tourism officers and front liners. But she cited that local government units must adopt and enforce tourism standards, too. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)