UNWTO: Philippine tourism has a lot more potential

UNWTO: Philippine tourism has a lot more potential

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Like the ‘half-cup-full’ positive attitude! But should the tourism development budget be placed under the Department of Public Works and Highways? If tourism is an important industry shouldn’t it be in the lead position rather than infrastructure?

Saying it would rather look at the glass half-full, Malacañang on Sunday downplayed a United Nations report which said the Philippines had one of the lowest tourism arrivals in Southeast Asia.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Philippines had a 1.8-percent share in international tourism arrivals in 2012. In comparison, Malaysia had 10.7 percent, Thailand had 9.6 percent, Indonesia had 3.9 percent and Vietnam had 2.9 percent.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said on government-run dzRB radio the Philippine government would continue its campaign to bring in more tourists to the country.

“Number one, our efforts will continue to attract more tourists to the country. We’ve been logging in numbers quite impressively compared to how we performed in the past,” Valte added.

Valte also said the government was looking to upgrade facilities, which includes other structures such as the airports, and not just the tourism sites. For 2014, the Philippines was readying P20 billion for infrastructure and marketing projects to attract 6.8 million tourists.

Valte added this was why the tourism development plan budget was under the Department of Public Works and Highways, “because that would involve infrastructure.”

“[It is] not just a matter of identifying which spots are attractive to foreign tourists. We want to make the process easier when they are here.”



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