This is Why Companies Should Apply for DOT Accreditation

Did you know that restaurants, spas, and even ambulatory clinics and department stores can apply for DOT accreditation? Here’s how it can help your business.

Now that borders have well and truly opened for foreign tourists, the Department of Tourism (DOT) reported a total of 2,025,421 visitor arrivals as of November 14, 2022. And out of those numbers, 73.43% (1,487,343) of these are foreign tourists! Truly better numbers compared to the 163,879 foreign tourists entering the country in 2021, no thanks to the pandemic and its many lockdowns.

Likewise, tourism revenue has also seen an increase with PHP100.7 billion from visitor arrivals from February to September alone! This 1,938.14% increase from the same period last year is clearly a good sign for tourism enterprises—both old and new. 

With the tourism industry beginning its recovery from the pandemic, many business opportunities have opened up—from hotels to resorts, and restaurants to galleries, spas, surfing camps, and more. And whichever one you choose among the different tourism enterprises, you will eventually come across the option of applying for DOT accreditation.

But what does it mean to be accredited? Are there any benefits that come with it? Here’s a quick guide that will answer all the basic questions about DOT accreditation.

What is DOT Accreditation and Who Can Apply for It?

According to the DOT website, accreditation refers to “a certification issued by the Department to a tourism enterprise that officially recognizes it as having complied with the minimum standards for the operation of tourism facilities and services.”

Furthermore, there are two categories of tourism enterprises that may apply for accreditation. First, you have the primary tourism enterprises, which apply to businesses that are directly related to tourism. Accreditation for primary tourism enterprises is required. 

Examples of primary tourism enterprises include the following:

  • Hotels
  • Apartment Hotels
  • Resorts
  • Tourist Inns
  • Motels
  • Bed and Breakfast
  • Pension Houses
  • Homestays
  • Travel Agencies (online travel agencies included)
  • Travel and Tour Agencies
  • Tour Operators
  • Tourist Transport Operators (land, water, and air)
  • Motorized Banca
  • Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions (MICE) Organizers
  • MICE Facilities and Venues
  • Tour Guides

Next, there are secondary tourism enterprises. Unlike primary tourism enterprises, accreditation for this is voluntary. These secondary tourism enterprises include:

  • Restaurants
  • Shopping Malls
  • Department Stores
  • Tourist Shops
  • Specialty Shops
  • Tourism Training Centers
  • Target Shooting Ranges
  • Farm Tourism Camps
  • Galleries
  • Museums
  • Zoos
  • Tourism Entertainment Complexes
  • Tourism Recreation Centers
  • Surfing Camps
  • Spas
  • Ambulatory Clinics
  • Tertiary Hospitals
  • Tourism Trainers
  • Surfing Instructors

How to Apply for Accreditation

Applying for DOT accreditation can be done online through the designated portal. Those who will access the portal can expect contactless transactions as well as other government services, aside from accreditation requests.

What are the Benefits, and Incentives of Being Accredited? 

Being DOT-accredited comes with its share of benefits and incentives. These include endorsements to fellow government agencies and embassies, as well as travel trade organizations to utilize the establishment’s facilities and services. Moreover, accredited enterprises will be prioritized in the department’s training programs.

On the other hand, accredited restaurants and accommodation establishments such as hotels, resorts, motels, and the like, can be endorsed to the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) for liquor ban exemptions during elections. 

Accredited accommodation establishments and tour operators can also receive endorsements from international and domestic airports, if applicable, in order to receive the Access Pass to Qualified Personnel. 

As for accredited tourist land transport vehicles, they can receive endorsements from Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for the Tourist Transport Franchise. 

All in all, the benefits that come with being DOT-accredited include endorsements to government offices, which put your business on the country’s radar. As the go-to of these institutions, you can expect more brand awareness (best accompanied by a strong social media presence) and a steady stream of customers and revenue. Remember though that these must go hand-in-hand with exemplary products and services, which you must consistently deliver.