On 14 September 2021, the Chinese Language Training of ASEAN (the Philippines) co-organised by the ASEAN-China Centre (ACC), the Philippines Department of Tourism and the Philippine Embassy in China was kicked off as scheduled with over 100 participants joining online from across the Philippines. Mr. Jose Santiago L. STA. Romana, the Philippine Ambassador to China, Ms. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Secretary of the Philippines Department of Tourism, and Mr. Chen Dehai, Secretary-General of ACC addressed the Opening Session.
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Romana said that the Philippines, with its rich tourism resources, beautiful scenery and hospitable people, remains on the top list of global travel destinations. The COVID-19 pandemic is restricting global travels, and has inflicted heavy loss to tourism industry, people’s livelihood and job market in the Philippines. He expressed high appreciation toward ACC’s efforts in initiating the Chinese tour guide training program, saying that such activities will help tourism professionals to improve their service capacity and play a positive role in the recovery of the Philippine’s tourism industry.
Secretary Romulo-Puyat thanked ACC and the Philippine Embassy in China for jointly organising this training program. She mentioned that China was the 2nd largest source of inbound tourists for the Philippines before the COVID-19 pandemic and took up a considerable share in the Philippine tourism foreign exchange and consumption sum. In order to effectively respond to the epidemic, the Philippine government currently attaches high importance to vocational training for tourism front liners in the fields of tour guiding and capacity building. She hoped all participants would make full use of the training program to improve their Chinese language skills and industry service capabilities and stand ready for Chinese tourists coming back to the Philippines in the future.
On behalf of ACC, Secretary-General Chen Dehai expressed his gratitude to the Philippine Embassy in China, the Philippines Department of Tourism and the academic partners for their robust support to ACC. This year marks the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations, and ASEAN and China have nurtured good-neighborly relations with fruitful results for the past 3 decades. He observed that ASEAN and China had always stood together and taken good care of each other. For the time being, the region and people are facing strict restrictions against international travels because of the COVID-19, but the bright future of tourism industry has never been diminished. Our joint efforts, such as continuous human resources development, would definitely help revitalize and develop tourism industry.
The Chinese Language Training of ASEAN (the Philippines) will last 6 days, focusing on basic Chinese communication and Chinese culture, tourism market in China and tourist service standards, etc. As one of the flagship projects of ACC, Chinese Language Training of ASEAN was initiated by the 45th Meeting of ASEAN National Tourism Organizations during ASEAN Tourism Forum 2017. Up to now, it has been carried out 5 times since 2018 and widely welcomed by the ASEAN Member States (AMS).