Bontoc, Mountain Province – Several operators of homestays and homeowners in Bontoc underwent a seven-day training program on May 10-16, 2021, at the Ridgebrook Hotel, Samoki, Bontoc, Mountain Province to ensure that the finest hospitality welcomes tourists in the capital town.
The training was conducted by the Department of Tourism – Cordillera Administrative Region (DOT-CAR) in coordination with the Bontoc Local Government Unit (LGU) through the Municipal Tourism Office.
Homestays are living arrangements with a host family that offers an extra private room or space for tourists for a reasonable charge.
Municipal Tourism Officer Caren Guinayen mentioned that the Bontoc LGU made a request to the DOT-CAR for the provision of Homestay Training Program foe homestay owners and interested homeowners aimed to equip homestay owners with knowledge and skills to be at par with Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) standards.
Bontoc Mayor Franklin Odsey, in his message to the participants, expressed his gratitude to the DOT-CAR for the provision of the training adding that it is very helpful for the host homeowners to be able to give guests quality tourism experience.
The mayor reminisced his childhood years of which visitors and tourists were accommodated in the Ato, but with homestays being introduced, it has boosted the tourism industry in the locality and has provided job opportunities to locals.
With this, Odsey encouraged the homestay owners to expand and venture in tourism-related activities and support the Bontoc LGU in the promotion of different tourist spots and local products in the municipality.
The mayor expressed high hopes that we will overcome this global pandemic so that tourism activities will resume. The tourism sector has also been gravely affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, the Homestay Training Program covers the following topics: ASEAN Homestay Standards, Background Check on Possible Homestay Provider, House Inspection, Homestay Product Development, Development of Activities for Tourists, The Philippine Tourism Industry, Basic House Decoration and Exercises Highlighting Local Culture, Legal Information/ Requirement. Physical Layout and Design, Bedroom Amenities, Getting to Know Your Tourists, Guiding Techniques, Basic Front Desk Procedures, Guest Reception and Records Keeping, Marketing Strategies, Food and Beverage Service and Table Napkin Folding, House Keeping, Hygiene and Sanitation, Safety and Security, and Basic First Aid.
The participants were given Certificates of Participation for attending the training. By Alpine L. Killa