The government may find it tough to achieve its target number of tourist arrivals in 2015 given the tepid global income growth expected this year, a private think tank said.
“The government aims to attract 8.2 million arrivals this year, which remains an unattainable target given the current pace of tourism growth,” Metrobank Research said in its “Weekly Views from the Metro” report published Wednesday.
The report noted that tourist arrivals in the country have slightly improved at the start of the year, totaling almost 1.4 million.
“Despite faster growth in arrivals, expect tourism growth to still remain in the single-digit territory as global income growth remains muted,” it pointed out.
With this, Metrobank Research stressed the need to diversify the tourism market mix in the Philippines so that tourism performance would not be skewed toward growth in the East Asia market.
To date, East Asia remains the largest regional tourism market with almost half of arrivals from that area in the first quarter.
South Korea continues to dominate the tourism market, having cornered 25 percentage of the arrivals during the period.
“Arrivals from China, the Philippines’ fourth biggest market, contracted by 32 percent, still likely driven by safety concerns and tensions between the two countries,” Metrobank Research added.