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Tourist vehicle operators advised to keep cars tidy  Nov 12, 2008

The Department of Tourism (DOT-7) regional office here is gearing towards perfecting Cebu's tourism advantage by calling on operators and drivers of privately-owned commercial vehicles servicing tourists to keep their cars tidy.

DOT-7 regional director Patria Aurora Roa made this announcement after receiving feedbacks from tourists who complain on the lack of trash bins inside cars, vans and tourist buses.

"Our transport vehicles also symbolize our tourism industry. It is crucial that our service vehicles are clean so that tourists will keep coming back," Roa said.

Roa called for cooperation among tourists' transportation vehicles to sustain the strength of the Philippines, specifically as the emerging favorite vacation destination not only for foreign travelers but also for the local visitors.

Tourism Secretary Ace Durano said 60 percent of visitors coming to the Philippines are repeat tourists, who return to the country more than twice a year, owing to the world-class destinations and the hospitality of Filipinos.

Roa said drivers of tourists’ service vehicles, including taxis, serve as the industry's "front liners", which is why educating them on the importance of a clean vehicle will help generate a positive reaction from tourists.

To address this urgent need, she bared that DoT will schedule a seminar for all drivers and operators of vehicles that capitalize on transporting tourists to different destinations.

In getting a DoT accreditation, these private vehicles will be required to put up trash bins inside designated areas.

According to Roa, Cebu has to move in providing world-class tourism facilities, and transportation vehicles should be designed as "tourists-friendly" as these are one of the front liners for the tourism sector.

Already, DOT-7 had been advocating strengthening the "culture of tourism" program that includes educating taxi drivers on proper accommodation of tourists, to make an impression that Cebu is a "tourist-friendly" destination in the world.

In a related development, Cebu Visitors Convention Bureau Chairman Jay Aldeguer said the group's short-term plan includes tapping the Cebu Association of Tour Operators and players in the transport industry for plans to put up audiovisual monitors in their vehicles.

The monitors are said to display a welcome message from Tourism Secretary Ace Durano, as well as hotel rates, and images of key destinations in Cebu and its neighboring provinces.

Tourist vehicle operators advised to keep cars tidy
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