AIM’s Global Network Eco-Tourism Course
Writeup By: Mark Daniel Chan,
W. SyCip Graduate School of Business
October 13-17, 2014
This past October 13-17, students from the Global Network of Advanced Management were able to take part in the inaugural edition of the AIM Eco-Tourism Course. The course lasted for one week and had students experience three very distinct parts of the Philippines: Bulacan, Manila and Batangas.
|The students who participated in the event were Ms. Mavy Acevedo Tizon, a Peruvian from the IE Business School in Spain and Ms. Gabriela Zavala Martinez from EGADE in Mexico. They were joined by ISEP and local students from AIM: Juan Marcos Garnier Navarro from IPADE in Mexico, Benedikt Grimmeisen from WHU in Germany, Kaspar Daljajev, an Estonian from the Norwegian School of Economics and Mr. Armando Cruz Lee from the Philippines.
The Course saw Instructors from AIM: Prof. Fernando Roxas, Prof. Gaston Ortigas, Jr., and Prof. Benjamin Bagadion, along with special guest instructors Ms. Patricia Garza Garnier, PhD., from Mexico, Mr. Antonio Meloto, Founder of Gawad Kalinga, Ms. Marie Recarro, Project Officer from the Department of Tourism, Mr. Vince Perez, an alumnus and World Fellow from Yale, and Mr. Romy Trono, former Country Executive Director of Conservation
During the week, the students were able to see Social Enterprise and Eco-Tourism at work at the Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm in the town of Pandi, Bulacan. Mr. Antonio Meloto, Founder of Gawad Kalinga (GK), and one of the world’s most respected Social Entrepreneurs, spoke about inclusive growth and the role of “voluntourism” in the fight against poverty in the Philippines. The Students, under the guidance of Prof. Gaston Ortigas, Jr., also had a chance to interact with members of the GK Community, whose lives were changed by the harnessing of Ecological resources that made an impact in the quality of their lives. Students also had a chance to interact with Social Entrepreneurs like Bryan Benitez McClelland, the Founder of Bambike Revolution Cycles (bicycles made with bamboo frames), who have built enterprises that not only generate good returns, but also uplift entire communities, while also preserving the environment.
|Back in Manila, the students got to see Bambike’s operations in Intramuros and on the next day, they had a chance to hear from Ms. Marie Recarro, as she discussed the various Eco-Tourism initiatives of the Deparment of Tourism. The students then had case sessions conducted by Prof. Benjamin Bagadion and Prof. Fernando Roxas, who talked about the many different Eco-Tourism Frameworks and the Management issues present in the Industry. The Students then heard from Mr. Vince Perez, who shared the management principles he had learned by managing the prestigious El Nido resort in Palawan.
During the last two days of the course, the Students had a chance to travel to Batangas, where they stayed at the Bontoc Seaview Guest House, owned by Mr. Romy Trono. Mr. Trono shared his experiences in conservation and gave the students a first-hand look at the rich bio-diversity present in Anilao, Batangas.
|The course was a great experience for all those who were involved, from the Faculty members to the students to the AIM Staff members who were in charge of the logistics of the course. AIM is set to offer the same Eco-Tourism course in March of 2015, when it will expect many more students from the Global Network of Advanced Management to participate in this truly memorable international activity.|