October 4, 2019 – Training Center for Tropical Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability (TREES) conducted a 5-day training course on Visitor Management for Forest and Nature-based Destinations highlighting the concept and principles of responsible visitor management in sustainable tourism planning and implementation. In line with the training, various Protected Area Superintendents and members of the Philippine Eco-Guides Association visited the georeserve to learn about destination branding and how to properly manage visitors.
Participants immersed in the Discovery Trail and experienced the different rope courses and witnessed the rich biodiversity within the landscape. After the 3-hour trail visit, Project Manager Ann Dumaliang joined the group for a learning session.
Dumaliang shared the importance of building the destinations’ unique identity and experience which sets it apart from other tourist destinations. According to Dumaliang, the use of storytelling is helpful in engaging with the audience and building credibility. In relation to visitor management, Dumaliang discussed the potential and significance of VISITA, a visitor management platform that would help destination managers regulate and control visitations to promote responsible tourism across the country. Visita is a mobile app developed by Planning Network Inc. through the support of Masungi Georeserve and Booking Cares Fund.
Masungi identifies the use of digital technology and online tools as vital components for the implementation of carrying capacities, education of guests and reinforcement of policies. The VISITA project will pilot in January 2020 with more destinations across the Philippines seen to benefit from the platform.
This training is made possible through TREES, Mr. Robby Cereno and the Forest Foundation Philippines. For more information on VISITA, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org