DOT focuses on tourist receipts, jobs
The Department of Tourism (DOT) is focusing more on generating more revenues and providing more employment rather than scrabble for 10 million arrivals next year.
“The 10 million in theory is possible. But “we’re sharply focused now on revenues because that’s the real results. We are determined to meet revenue and employment targets,” DOT Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez told reporters during Tourism Star Philippines awarding ceremony on Thursday (night).
“We’re hoping to get it to as close as 6 million arrivals as possible and therefore you will be approaching the 6 million mark by 2016. Probably more since last year we’ve had almost 5 million visitors. We started in 2010 with revenues of less than $3 billion. If we are able to double the business, that’s good,” Jimenez said.
“As a general rule in the hospitality business, hotels get what you call the purest income. In a more detailed sense, it is the travel industry–the agents, the airlines,” he said.
“ We are actually making more money than the actual numbers so our revenues are very strong. We are getting the tourists to stay longer that’s a better accomplishment , harder work,” he said.
Despite the tension and China’s blanket ban on travel to the Philippines because of the problems in West Philippine Sea , Chinese arrivals continue to rise.
“In fact by the end of 2014, There is growth of almost 16 percent in Chinese arrivals. Hong
Kong business is gradually growing . We are participating in the Great Hong Kong New Year Parade which has never happened before. This is a good sign,” Jimenez said.
“Actually we’re very happy because we expected the drop to be serious but we still have growth and because all our major markets are growing again. Taiwan is growing again, the US market, Japan, and others,” he said.
The other problem the Philippine Tourism industry will have to face is the effect of Mamasapano incident in Mindanao.
“We still need to promote and help Mindanao.,” Jimenez said.
Visit Philippines Year 2015
“We have what we call site-specific advertising now. Not just in general about the Philippines. We are building greater awareness. Advertising is more focused on Davao, Cebu, and Baguio. We’re getting people to be familiar with more places in the Philippines to see more things,” Jimenez said.
“Actually what we are trying to improve on are basic products involving communities and skills within the hospitality industry and the travel industry. Now we are a new player in ecotourism and agri-tourism. We’re starting out in all of those but I wouldn’t describe them as the centerpiece. We are more traditional in approach but since we have a beautiful country, it is almost impossible not to focus on ec tourism,” he said.
“Our cruise tourism is up by almost 65 percent but you see it started from a very small base so we’re okay,” he added.
Koreans are still the top visitors with over a million arrivals a year followed by the US, Japan, China, and Australia.
Total tourist arrivals reached 4.83 million tourists for 2014.