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CHAPTER I THE PROBLEM AND ITS SETTING

Introduction In the wake of globalization and economic restructuring highlighted by the current global financial crisis, many countries and communities are trying to redefine and rebuild their economies. To save the country from continuous economic downfall which brings chain of problems such as increased unemployment rate, poverty, further destruction of the natural resources and lack of peace and order, the government together with the community shall take initiatives to think, plan and implement alternatives to address the problem. To meet the present needs of the people without sacrificing the natural resources for the future generations, the program must take the idea of sustainable development which is now one of the emerging trends in the economy. In terms of sustainable development, many countries nowadays, find tourism industry as one tool. Tourism, as defined in the Poverty Alleviation for Sustainable Tourism Development Manual of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia Pacific, is a socio-economic phenomenon comprised of the activities and experiences of tourists and visitors away from their home environment, serviced by the travel and tourism industry and host destinations. Tourism offers various economic, social, cultural and physical environmental benefits which can be generated from the array of services, also called tourism

supply. Tourism supply components are classified into five (5) main categories: (1) natural resources, (2) infrastructure, (3) hospitality, (4) transportation, and (5) superstructure. Products of these supplies are anchored on the labor of both the public and private sectors.1 The industry is generally a profit-oriented and satisfaction of the tourists and visitors is the main factor to stay long in the industry. With the current global financial crisis, and the high competition in the market, engaging in this industry is not an easy venture.2 To be involved in the industry and be competitive, tourism managers in general, be it government or private sector shall develop effective and efficient strategies or mechanisms to enhance the potentials of the community, implement and sustain the program. In any program, program managers always adopt the three (3) key implementation stages, which are: 1. pre-implementation stage, 2. implementation stage, and 3. ensuring sustainability stage.3 The Municipality of Bulan, located at the southwestern most tip of the Island of Luzon is presently on the wake of developing its tourism industry. Bulan is a premiere municipality in the Province of Sorsogon and for more than a decade, has become the center of commercialization for its neighboring towns of Magallanes, Irosin, Matnog, and the Ticao Island in Masbate. Its economy is rapidly increasing which is evident on the number of its commercial banks and lending agencies such as Metro Bank, Philippine National Bank, and Allied Bank. The famous Filipino Fastfood Jollibee also emerged in the town two years ago.

Coupled with the rapid economic upliftment in Bulan is the increase in its population due to migration of people from other municipalities and cities. Aside from this, the Municipality of Bulan is recognized as Model Town on Solid Waste Management by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in 2008. As Model Town, Bulan is the recommended site for replication of other LGUs and a place for observation tours for students and other LGUs, hence, it is expected that starting 2009, many LGUs will be visiting Bulan.4 To prepare the municipality for the incoming influx of tourists and visitors and the continuous increase in the population due to migration, a comprehensive tourism plan shall be developed. Otherwise, economic, social, environmental and even cultural problems might arise. This study on the Strategies in the Development of Tourism Industry in the Municipality of Bulan can be of great importance and help to the Local Government Units of Bulan, as well as, to those interested individuals who would like to engage in the tourism business. It also offers a good avenue to the students of Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management, Major in Tourism, as well as, for the students of Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management. Along the course, they will be able to learn the context of the tourism industry and the operation of businesses like hotels and restaurants. How these businesses should offer tourism supplies to their customers in order to stay long in the industry will be tackled also. Results of this study will contribute much to the students knowledge and skills needed once they step out of the college and enter the business world.

Statement of the Problem This study aimed to determine the different strategies in the developing tourism industry in the Municipality of Bulan, Sorsogon. Specifically, it sought answers to the following sub-problems: 1. a. b. c. 2. What are the profile of respondents, in terms of : age sex educational background? What are the strategies employed by Local Government Unit of Bulan,

Sorsogon for the development of their tourism industry, in terms of: a. b. c. d. planning information dissemination tourism resources and infrastructure / facilities sustainability of programs? 3. What are the problems encountered by respondents in the Municipality

of Bulan, Sorsogon to the development of tourism industry, in terms of: a. planning b. information dissemination c. tourism resources and infrastructure / facilities d. sustainability of programs? 4. What are the strategies that may be offered to solve the problems

encountered by respondent, in terms of:

a. b. c. d.

planning information dissemination tourism resources and infrastructure / facilities sustainability of programs?

Assumptions of the Study This study was anchored on the following assumptions: 1. The profile of respondents in terms of age, sex, and educational

background varies. 2. Local Government Unit of Bulan, Sorsogon are employing

strategies in terms of planning, information dissemination, tourism resources and infrastructure / facilities, and sustainability of programs for the development of their tourism industry. 3. Respondents are experiencing problems in terms of planning,

information dissemination, tourism resources and infrastructure / facilities, and sustainability of programs; and 4. There are strategies that may be offered to solve the problems

encountered by respondents in terms of planning, information dissemination, tourism resources and infrastructure / facilities, and sustainability of programs.

Scope and Delimitation of the Study

This study focused only on the different strategies in developing tourism industry in the Municipality of Bulan, Sorsogon for the period of 2008-2009. The respondents of this study were forty (40) Local Government Units employees, thirty (30) tourism managers, and thirty (30) residents for a total of 100 respondents.

Significance of the Study The findings of this study would benefit the following: Department of Tourism. The result of this study will provide additional information and will be useful especially for the local tourism officers in the local tourism industry. Local Government Units of Bulan, Sorsogon. This will provide them valuable data and information relevant in their formulation of the Comprehensive Tourism Plan for the municipality as well as in their implementation of the plans or programs for tourism industry. Tourist. They will be benefited by this study, since local government of Bulan, Sorsogon will able to employ better services for them by adopting the strategies recommended. Residents. The recommendations of this study, once adopted will give more opportunities for tourists to have small-scale tourism related business in Bulan, Sorsogon. Residents will also be more aware of the importance of

maintaining the beauty of the municipality to encourage more tourists to come.

Tourism Managers. Results of this study will supply them information relevant for the improvement of their business. Researchers. This study will provide them guide on what tourism business is ideal to establish or operate in the Municipality of Bulan or in any similar municipality if they choose to enter the tourism business someday. On the other hand, if they choose to work with the government, they can use the data and information on the planning and management principles and processes of sustainable tourism development which this study will provide as their guide or aid in their formulation of plans for tourism. Future researchers. This study will provide reference to those who will conduct similar studies.

Notes

UN-ESCAP. Economic and Social Commission on Asia and the Pacific. Poverty Alleviation Through Sustainable Tourism Development. United Nations, New York. 2003. p. 8
1

Roy Cook; Laura Yale and Joseph Marqua. Tourism: The Business of Travel. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2001. p. 15
2

Ian Jackson. An Introduction to Tourism. Victoria, Australia: Hospitality Press, 2003. p. 8

Raul Borras, Municipal Planning and Development Office, LGU Bulan, Sorsogon, Socioeconomic Profile of the Municipality of Bulan. 2002