Department of Tourism

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The Department of Tourism (DOT; Filipino: Kagawaran ng Turismo) of the Philippines is the executive department of the Philippine government that is primarily charged with the responsibility to encourage, promote, and develop tourism as a major socio-economic activity to generate employment and foreign currency, and to spread the benefits of tourism among both the private and public sectors.[1] Bernadette Romulo-Puyat is the current secretary of the department.


Philippine Tourist and Travel Association

The present Department of Tourism of the Philippines has its roots in a private initiative in 1950 to promote the country as a major travel destination. As a result of this initiative, the Philippine Tourist and Travel Association (PTTA) was created by Republic Act No. 710 in 1952, with the goal of bringing together all organizations and entities catering to travel and tourism. In 1956, Republic Act No. 1478 created the Board of Travel and Tourist Industry to serve as the policy-making body for travel and tourism under the auspices of the then Department of Commerce and Industry (DCI), with the PTTA as its implementing arm.

In 1973, President Ferdinand Marcos created the Department of Tourism (DOT) through Presidential Decree No. 189, with the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) as its implementing arm for infrastructure development. The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) was reconstituted and attached to the DOT as well. Three years later, the Philippine Convention Bureau (PCB) was created as the department’s marketing arm for conventions.

In order to be more cohesive in its functions, the DOT was reorganized in 1987 by virtue of Executive Order No. 120 issued by President Corazon C. Aquino, and charged with its primary functions and responsibilities. By virtue of this same executive order, the PTA remained an attached agency of the DOT; however, the CAB was transferred to the Department of Transportation and Communications. Meanwhile, Executive Order No. 120-A reorganized the PCB and renamed it Philippine Convention and Visitors Corporation (PCVC), charged with being the DOT’s marketing arm.

Philippine Tourism Master Plan

In 1991, President Fidel V. Ramos issued Proclamation No. 188, adopting the Philippine Tourism Master Plan (TMP) as the Philippine government’s blueprint for tourism development and mobilizing all government agencies as well as the private sector to support and implement it. The proclamation also allowed the DOT to create committees and task forces to ensure the implementation of the programs identified in the plan.

WOW Philippines

In 1998, the Department of Tourism was one of the main offices of the government responsible for the culmination of the centennial celebration of Philippine Independence from Spain. In 2002, the Department of Tourism, headed by Secretary Richard Gordon, initiated the Visit Philippines 2003 project, which became one of its most successful tourism promotion projects. Part of this project is the "WOW Philippines" tourism campaign, using the same name itself as the tagline of the campaign. The DOT commissioned the advertising firm BBDO Guerrero for the implementation of the campaign. The campaign was named the Best Marketing Effort of a National Tourism Organization in the overall category in 2002 at the Internationale Tourismus Bourse.

It's More Fun in the Philippines

In 2012, the agency started a campaign called "It's More Fun in the Philippines." The campaign was widely regarded as an international success, gaining international media attention. With the help of social media, the country saw an influx of tourists from all over the world, peaking at almost 6 million tourists in 2015. The number of tourists continued to increase until it declined in 2017, with analysts attributing the decrease to Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs and his declaration of martial law in Mindanao.

Organization structure

The Department is headed by the Secretary of Tourism (Philippines), with the following four undersecretaries and assistant secretaries.

  • Undersecretary for Administration and Special Concerns
  • Undersecretary for Public Affairs, Communications & Special Projects
  • Undersecretary for Tourism Development Planning
  • Undersecretary for Tourism Promotions
  • Undersecretary for Tourism Regulation Coordination & Resource Generations
  • Assistant Secretary for Administration and Special Concerns
  • Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, Communications and Special Projects
  • Assistant Secretary for Tourism Development Planning
  • Assistant Secretary for Tourism Regulation Coordination & Resource Generation for Metro Manila Cluster
  • Assistant Secretary for Tourism Regulation Coordination & Resource Generation for Luzon and Visayas

Bureaus and offices

  • Bureau of Domestic Tourism Promotions and Information
  • Bureau of International Tourism Promotions
  • Office of Product Development
  • Office of Tourism Coordination
  • Office of Tourism Development Planning
  • Office of Tourism Information
  • Office of Tourism Standards

Agencies of the Department of Tourism

Also known as the "DOT Family", the following agencies are attached to the DOT and shall be under the supervision of the Secretary for program and policy coordination:

List of the Secretaries of the Department of Tourism

# Name Term Began Term Ended President
1 Jose D. Aspiras May 11, 1973 February 25, 1986 Ferdinand Marcos
2 Jose Antonio U. Gonzales February 26, 1986 April 14, 1989 Corazon C. Aquino
3 Narzalina Z. Lim April 15, 1989 June 7, 1989
4 Peter D. Garrucho June 8, 1989 January 8, 1991
5 Rafael M. Alunan III January 9, 1991 February 16, 1992
6 Narzalina Z. Lim February 17, 1992 September 10, 1992 Fidel V. Ramos
7 Vicente J. Carlos September 11, 1992 July 3, 1995
8 Eduardo P. Pilapil July 4, 1995 March 28, 1996
9 Evelyn B. Pantig March 29, 1996 April 7, 1996
10 Mina T. Gabor April 8, 1996 June 30, 1998
11 Gemma C. Araneta July 1, 1998 January 19, 2001 Joseph Estrada
12 Richard J. Gordon January 20, 2001 January 4, 2004 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
13 Robert Dean S. Barbers January 5, 2004 February 25, 2004
14 Roberto M. Pagdanganan February 26, 2004 August 31, 2004
15 Evelyn B. Pantig September 1, 2004 November 29, 2004
16 Joseph H. Durano November 30, 2004 June 30, 2010
17 Alberto Lim June 30, 2010 August 12, 2011 Benigno Simeon Aquino III
18 Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. September 1, 2011 June 30, 2016
19 Wanda Tulfo Teo June 30, 2016 May 8, 2018 Rodrigo Duterte
20 Bernadette Romulo-Puyat May 11, 2018 Incumbent

Tourism slogans