The Philippines is a tropical paradise with over 7,641 islands. The country offers wonders of the natural world, white sand beaches, pristine waters and friendly people always ready to offer a welcoming smile.

The country welcomed about 7.1 million international visitors in 2018, an increase of 7.7 percent on the previous year. Domestic tourism across the Philippines is booming and investments in tourism related businesses are contributing significantly to the country’s economy. Importantly, the Department of Tourism (DOT) is committed to ensuring the sustainability of the archipelago’s thriving tourism industry through comprehensive initiatives.

The DOT launched its #MoreFunForever campaign earlier this year to promote sustainable practices and promote the country as a sustainable travel destination. The three-pronged campaign aims to promote responsible tourism, enforce environmental compliance, and improve the quality of service offered by stakeholders while supporting local communities.

Last year President Rodrigo Duterte closed one of the Philippines’ most popular islands for six months. The island of Boracay underwent extensive work to return the island to its former glory. The DOT, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)created the Boracay Interagency Task Force (BIATF).

The Task Force implemented a “No Accreditation, No Operation” rule for businesses operating near Boracay’s world-famous white sand beaches. The successful initiative has resulted in Boracay becoming an island paradise once again, and more importantly, triggered a movement across the country. Today, environmental projects are being undertaken in Manila Bay, on the islands of Siargao, Palawan and Bohol, as well as in the mountain provinces of Baguio and Sagada.

DOT has also established partnerships with key government agencies, private companies and organizations. Ventures with the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority, Cebu Pacific Airlines and the Austria-based research and development organization, GrAT Center for Appropriate Technology, are expected to drive these sustainability programs.

Securing a strong tourism sector for the Philippines is vital to encourage international visitors and investors. DOT’s strong commitment to sustainability ensures that these economic benefits will directly reach local inhabitants who safeguard, care for and share their beautiful habitats with appreciative visitors.

With the #MoreFunForever campaign, sustainable tourism in the country continues to ensure future generations enjoy and appreciate the beauty of one of the most fun countries on the planet.