REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM

Kagawaran ng Turismo

         

 

PST: October/21/2018 

Local News

 

The Department of Tourism (DOT) is optimistic that the upward growth of the country’s international tourist arrivals registered at 11.40 percent for the first quarter of 2017, will likely continue throughout the year as it anticipates over Php600-billion investments in infrastructure alongside aggressive marketing efforts, and with the heightened security all over the country.

Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo said the Philippines remains a perennial destination for tourists, with international arrivals breaching the million mark as early as February of this year. Korea still delivers the biggest market share of 24.70 percent, topping the list with 440,865 arrivals. USA follows on the second spot with 258,097, generating 14.46 percent share of the total market share. China has sustained its place at the third spot with 240,354 arrivals, posting the biggest growth rate of 30.26 percent compared to the same period last year. This is indicative of the good relations between the country and China.

Completing the top five markets are Japan with 166,251 and Australia with 66,807, making up a combined market share of 13.05 percent.

“A total of 1,784,882 visitors have come to the country in the first three months as we continue with our efforts to increase the country’s capacity under the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) 2017-2022,” Secretary Tulfo said, disclosing the government’s allocation of P677B for the Medium Term Tourism Infrastructure Program. A total of Php184.5 billion will be spent on tourism roads under its convergence program to improve land-based travel with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Meanwhile, about Php324B has been earmarked for the development and improvement of air and sea ports and railway systems, under the Department of Transportation (DOTr) convergence program. The DOT’s infrastructure arm, the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), on the other hand, will allot Php167B for site infrastructure and the development of tourism enterprise zones (TEZs).

“As an archipelagic country, it is paramount for us to ensure that the infrastructure to receive foreign travelers flying in are adequate and of world-class quality. As you may all know, the government has already undertaken major improvements of our international gateways. We will also be giving focus to cruise tourism, and in fact we have already crafted a National Cruise Tourism Strategic Plan, which calls for the development of cruise facilities and improvement of ports,” the tourism chief added.

She said the country’s strong tourism streak can also be attributed to the international community recognizing that safety and security in the country has improved over the last ten months of the Duterte administration, referring to the 2017 World Economic Forum (WEF) Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report which ranks the Philippines 126th among 136 countries in the safety and security index component. In 2015, the Philippines ranked 128th.

“The Duterte government is working hard to address the drug menace and criminality, making it as the centerpiece program of the government. Although there are critical incidents in some areas in Southern Philippines, there is now a general sense of safety and security in the country,” Teo emphasized, citing theglobal peace index of 2017 ranking the Philippines 138th from 139th in 2016.

According to the DOT chief, there is a 30 percent drop in the number of crimes committed during the first nine months of the Duterte administration. More than eight out of ten residents of Metro Manila feel safer because of the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.

“The Philippines is too enticing a destination to keep people away,” Teo was quoted as saying, with the government's continued efforts yielding international investor’s confidence. “People will still come.”

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