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Regional Office Profile

Brief Background

The first organized group to address the infant tourist trade was the Philippine Tourist and Travel Association (PTTA), established in 1952 by local business leaders with funding from the government. It was joined four years later by the Board of Travel and Tourist Industry (BTTI), created by law under the Department of Commerce and Industry. BTTI served as the policy-making body for tourism while PTTA was given the implementation function. The reorganization of the bureaucracy in 1972, following the declaration of Martial Law resulted in the establishment of the Department of Trade and Tourism. In May 1973, by virtue of Presidential Decree 189, tourism became a separate department from trade. Thus was born the DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM. As a full-fledged department, it had under its wings the Philippine Tourism Authority, the implementing arm for physical development.

The Philippine Convention Bureau (PCB) was later created and attached to the DOT as its marketing arm for conventions. The advent of the Aquino administration called for thorough review of the mandates and operations of the entire government bureaucracy.

In January 1987, Executive Order 120 reorganized the DOT. Its new tasks include: policy formulation, strategic and marketing formulation, strategic and market planning, legislative liaison, inter-agency and intra-governmental coordination, regulatory control of the industry sectors, delivery of support services and international promotion. The PTA continues to be an attached agency, its functions now limited to the maintenance of existing facilities built prior to privatization, building and improvement of basic infrastructure and beautification of major tourist attractions. The PCB has been renamed the Philippine Convention and Visitors Corporation, its functions expanded to include general tourism promotion. The Intramuros Administration and the National Parks Development Committee were also attached to DOT. And in December 1991, the Ngayon Pilipino Foundation became an attached agency of the DOT.


Encourage, promote and develop tourism as a major socio-economic activity to generate foreign currency and employment;

Spread its benefits to a wider segment of the population;

Assure the safe, convenient and enjoyable stay and travel of both foreign and local tourists in the country;

Promulgate rules and regulations governing the operations and activities of all entities catering to tourists;

Promote the protection, maintenance and preservation of historical, cultural and natural assets with tourist attractions;

Coordinate with appropriate government agencies the development of infrastructure requirement supporting a tourist zone; and

Ensure a harmonious, positive and constructive development of the tourism industry.


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