MANILA, 28 January 2022: The Department of Tourism emphasised the importance of promoting the country as an ‘English as a Second Language’ (ESL), hub during the 2nd Hybrid Philippine Education Tourism Conference (PETC) hosted in Clark, Pampanga 26 to 27 January.
Led by the DOT through its Office of Product and Market Development, the two-day conference focused on expanding ESL services as a core product in the expanding educational tourism sector.
“Among the biggest challenges we face today is how to provide students with their learning requirements effectively. Because of the pandemic, teachers, students, and schools had to shift quickly to digital forms of instruction,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat stated at the opening of the conference on 26 January.
“Despite this difficult educational environment, we have to continue equipping our students with the necessary skills to succeed in an unpredictable world, which requires innovation and a strong support network. As such, the Department of Tourism will continue to conduct activities that will further the growth of the education tourism industry and assist our stakeholders.”
Before the pandemic, the Philippines was considered the world’s fifth-largest ESL provider, Puyat noted saying it was mainly due to successful ESL promotions dating back to 2013.
To enhance the country’s position, not only as an ESL hub but also as a multi-faceted education tourism destination, PETC showcases both local and foreign students short-term online and offline education tourism programmes that are being offered by institutions in the Philippines.
Invited experts addressed such topics as international mobility, the latest education requirements for foreign students, and best practices of neighbouring countries that local institutions can adopt to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.
Other major components of the PETC event included the virtual business-to-business and business-to-consumer networking activities on 28 January that provided opportunities for stakeholders and key players to forge new partnerships and exchange ideas on education trends.
The first PETC was first organised by the DOT in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu in July 2019. The event was attended by more than 350 participants from ESL schools, colleges, universities, associations, and government agencies.