The Philippines has been doing well in its tourism sector rising up 12 ranks in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI), according to a National Competitiveness Council of the Philippines (NCCP) executive.
From ranking 94 out of 145 countries in 2011, the Philippines rose to the 82nd spot of the TTCI by 2013.
Guillermo Luz, NCCP private sector co-chair, said that the country has been “catching up” in travel and tourism sector but is still “lagging” compared to other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member-countries.
The NCCP TTCI records showed that the country is the only one that grew double digits in the index than its Asean counterparts like Singapore retaining in the 10th spot in since 2011 and Malaysia going down a rank from 35th in 2011 to 34th spot in the year.
Luz attributed the ascent of the country in the tourism competitiveness index to the increased government expenditure, improvements such as fewer visa requirements and less ticket taxes and airport charges, among others.
He identified the industry’s competencies to be foreign direct investments (FDI), trade and export services, our people particularly the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), as well as reputation and image of the Philippines.
“We are not competitive because our people go to other countries to work,” Luz said, referring to our locals going overseas to work than staying in the country and contribute to the development of the Philippines.
He also noted that the country had negative numbers in establishment of quality sports stadiums, hotel rooms, as well as the business cost of terrorism.
At present, Luz pointed out that the tourism department slogan “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” contributes largely to the improved tourism sector that translates to good country branding.
“Currently, we are working on improving the ease of doing business performance index for the country,” Luz said, in reference to the need of more FDIs thus the emphasis to safety and security, accessibility and establishments of airports, among others.