By Jovel Ananayo
Research Topic: Tourism and World Heritage Site Conservation: A Case Study of the Tourism Program of the Save the Ifugao Terraces Movement (SITMo) in Ifugao Province, Philippines.
There are two major objectives of the field work that I conducted over the summer. First is to gather secondary and primary data for my research and second is to have firsthand exposure on the conditions in the project sites. In order to accomplish my first objective, I visited various offices such the SITMo, Ifugao Provincial Tourism Office, and the regional office of the Department of Tourism and gathered information from their reports, financial records, and other documents.
Moreover, I conducted semi-structured interviews with key informants such as the Chief Operations Officer of SITMo, the organization’s eco-tourism coordinator and tour guides. I also went on field to the areas where the eco-tourism programs are actually being undertaken. While at the project sites, I did semi-structured interviews with community people who are actively involved with SITMo’s tourism projects. Not only did the interviews provided me with rich and useful insights but my visit to the sites also afforded me an actual exposure which is very useful when writing my research. The informal interviews and interactions with local people provided me with interesting information and better understanding of prevailing local tourism situations which will enrich the content of my research.
From the above activities, I was able to collect data on tourist arrivals, tourism receipts, descriptions and status of ongoing heritage tourism projects, and the project impacts on the local culture, economy, and the environment. These are basically the necessary data that I need to accomplish my research.