Tourism official reports tourism spike from Miss U events
According to former Ilocos Sur Governor Luis “Chavit” Singson—whose LCS Group spearheaded and privately funded the Miss Universe activities in the Philippines—he pushed for the event’s fruition with the country in mind. According to the pageant’s godfather this side of the world, tourism will greatly benefit from bringing the beauties all over the Philippines and ultimately hosting the 65th grand coronation night in Manila on January 30.
Is it too early to tell whether this hosting will live up to its promise? In a telephone interview with Department of
Tourism (DOT) Assistant Secretary Ricky Alegre, The Sunday Times Magazine learned it is not. Apparently, as early January, the agency had already noted a spike in tourist arrivals from different parts of the world. Alegre clarified that a good number of this figure were “unexpected” from the different delegations scheduled to arrive for the almost three-week-long activity. Families, friends and fans of the candidates make up this spike, and according to research by the DOT, they intend to stay and vacation in the country even after coronation night.
“Imagine about 190 countries and 600 million viewers all over the world will be able to watch the pageant on television and the Internet. For sure many of them will be interested to come and visit the country because of the attractions we featured all through the pre-pageant activities. Moreover, it is not only tourism but Filipinos who will be the center of this all. In fact, whenever DOT Secretary Wanda Teo goes outside the country, she learns how foreigners admire the hospitality of the Filipinos, which will surely rise with stories of the candidates and the visitors who came with them,” Alegre explained to The Sunday Times Magazine.
“We believe that our country will be the alternative destination in Asia [because of this]. The prediction is that there will be 3 million more tourists this year following Miss Universe. From 6 million in 2016, we hope we will reach the 9 million mark this year,” he added.
Alegre further confirmed that Cebu, where the swimsuit presentation was held, saw an increased tourist arrival during this Miss Universe hosting period. Moreover, the DOT had received a barrage of tour and hotel inquiries for many different locations since the announcement of the pageant was made.
“There is no country in the world that is ready for an immediate surge of arrivals in their country but we are handling and managing everything well. The effect of the pageant in this country is really significant because there have been more jobs generated for Filipinos during this time as well. And with many staying beyond coronation nights, these jobs are sure to stay and surge,” Alegre enthused.
The Assistant Secretary finally concluded that some P70-billion worth of investments will be made in the Philippines based on the influx of tourists for 2017.