DOT and Philippine Retail Association Strengthen Partnership to Boost MSME Competencies in Tourism Retail

In a significant move to enhance the Philippines’ standing as a competitive shopping destination, the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Philippine Retail Association (PRA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Wednesday, May 24, affirming their commitment to the joint implementation of the Micro Retail Tourism 2.0 “Essential Innovations and Product Enhancement” training module.

The MOU formalizes the partnership between DOT and PRA, solidifying their collaborative efforts to train micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), particularly the Tourism Retail Enterprises (TREs). The Micro Retail Tourism 2.0 program aims to elevate the retail competencies and customer experience skills of MSMEs involved in tourism by providing comprehensive training covering the entire retail cycle.

Tourism Undersecretary Shahlimar Hofer Tamano, who signed the MOU on behalf of the Department, described this partnership as a milestone in the DOT’s training programs. He emphasized the goal of offering tourists the best possible experience and making their stay in the Philippines more memorable.

As part of the public-private partnership, the DOT and PRA will conduct various activities, including training sessions and workshops, benefiting MSMEs across the Philippines. Joint efforts will encourage participants to engage in these activities, with both organizations sharing training experts to conduct the sessions. The partnership also advocates for training on the Filipino Brand of Service Excellence, among other initiatives.

DOT Assistant Secretary Maria Rica Bueno highlighted that the collaboration aims to elevate MSMEs, integral to the tourism value chain, by improving their product standards and customer service to attract more tourists to visit the Philippines.

PRA President Rosemarie Ong expressed gratitude to the DOT for the continued partnership and emphasized the interconnected nature of retail and tourism, citing the Philippines as a consumption-driven economy.

The DOT and PRA’s strengthened collaboration is poised to contribute significantly to the growth and development of MSMEs in the tourism sector, ultimately enhancing the Philippines’ competitiveness as a shopping destination.

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