ONE year after the devastation inflicted by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) on the central Philippines, the tourism industry remains one of the country’s biggest dollar-earners, with revenues expected to hit $5 billion by the end of the year from international arrivals alone.
Yolanda caused a few snags in international arrivals, but the Department of Tourism (DOT) assured that the Philippines is on track as far as tourism revenue is concerned and that visitor numbers are growing even from previously declining markets such as Taiwan.
The DOT is also expecting significant growth in arrivals from Japan, the United States, Russia and Korea.
The efforts of the DOT together with the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) to raise the country’s profile have also paid off as the Philippines bagged multiple awards from the international community.
The country won as Destination of the Year at the 25th Annual TTG Travel Awards 2014 and ranked 8th in the list of Lonely Planet’s “Top 10 Countries.” The country was also featured on Huffington Post, which gave readers “8 Reasons the Philippines is the Best Tropical Destination No One Ever Talks About.”
Palawan was voted Best Island in the world by Condé Nast Readers Choice Awards 2014 and was ranked as the 7th holiday destination by SmartTravel.com Best in Travel Poll 2014. Manila was also voted top 10 city for business by SmartTravel.com poll.
TPB’s destination-specific international campaigns for Boracay, Davao, Manila, and Cebu are also paying off.
“Following Typhoon Haiyan’s devastation, it was a challenge and a huge responsibility for TPB to change the negative perception about the Philippines as a tourist destination. But shifting the focus of our promotional campaigns and marketing efforts towards specific destinations made a great difference,” said TPB chief operating officer Domingo Ramon Enerio 3rd.
Though experiencing back-to-back accolades, which translate to revenues for the country, the DOT, along with the TPB, is maximizing the potentials of its Visit the Philippines Year (VPY) 2015 campaign, an invitation to all to raise the country’s international profile.
On top of this, an exciting mix of local and international events and activities like the Papal Visit, Madrid Fusión, MTV Music Evolution, Iron Man and Xterra Triathlons, Manila FAME and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Ministerial Meetings and Leaders’ Summit, as well as the unveiling of more historic treasures, natural wonders and major regional festivals, will give the Philippines a great push as the top destination next year, the Tourism department said.