Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Philippines now third fastest-growing destination for foreign tourists

The Caramoan Peninsula, a fast-rising tourist destination in Bicol.

LEGAZPI CITY: the Philippines now ranks third among countries where “visitor exports” or foreign tourism will grow fastest between 2013 and 2023.
Albay Gov Joey Salceda, citing a recent report from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Travel and Tourism League, said the Philippines could pick up from its 6.6-percent growth in 2012, with tourism as flagship program.
The recent WTTC report forecasted the Philippines to grow 8.7% annually with robust foreign tourists arrival growth, together with Brazil and Venezuela with 14.4% and 9.1% growth rates, respectively.
A noted economist and former economic adviser to Philippine presidents, Salceda said the same WTTC report indicated the Philippines ranks fifth among countries where spending on business travel grew fastest in 2012, with a growth rate of 23.7%.
It also ranks 10th among countries where travel and tourism directly contribute to the gross domestic product (GDP), a rather impressive figure considering the broad scope of global tourism destinations.
The National Statistical Coordination Board reported that the country’s economy grew faster than expected in 2012 at 6.6%, way above the 5% to 6% official target for the year, and the actual 3.9% growth in 2011.
The Philippines has so far been one of the best economic performers in Asia.
The situation, Salceda said, offers huge opportunity for his province, Albay, which has single-mindedly focused on tourism as its flagship program.
In 2012 it posted an all-time high tourism growth of 49 %, making it the fastest-growing destinations in the country.
he March 6-to-10 ITB-Berlin international tourism fair highlighted Albay as a global tourist destination, the first local government unit so far given such an exposure.
With its enlivened tourism, Albay has come up with a new marketing pitch: “Indulge Yourself in Warm Albay.”
The province holds its month-long Daragang Magayon Festival 2013 this coming April, topped with a trade fair.
As Bicol Regional Development Council chairman, Salceda recently spearheaded the formation of the Albay-Masbate-Sorsogon (Almasor) Tourism Alliance, a new global marketing strategy of bundling up the tourism potentials of these three southernmost provinces of the region.
The WTTC report, likewise, pointed out that travel and tourism contribute “more to the GDP than automotive manufacturing” anywhere in the world, adding that “with 98 million people directly employed in 2011, this industry directly employs six times more people than automotive manufacturing, five times more than chemical manufacturing, and four times more than mining.” – BusinessMirror

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