Tourism 101 in the Philippines

October 12, 2011 / By  

The growth of the tourism sector in the Philippines in the recent years prompted renewed interest in tourism-related property developments. The tourism industry accounted for approximately 5.8% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and expenditure on tourism-related activities accounted for approximately 14.5% of the final household consumption expenditure in 2010. International tourist arrivals grew about 6% per annum for the last 10 years and are projected to expand by more than 5.71 million by 2020, according to the UNWTO.

This growth is welcomed with an unprecedented level of future supply of hotel rooms in Metro Manila, the country’s financial and tourism capital. From 2H11-2015, there are approximately 10,000 hotel rooms expected to be completed, of which approximately half is configured to serve the business and budget-conscious travellers.

However, Metro Manila is not the only destination in the country, which is teeming with natural wonders and attractions that could possibly be developed into high-growth tourism regions. Traditional domestic destinations include Camarines Sur, Cebu, Davao City, Cagayan Valley, Baguio City, Boracay Island, Zambales, Puerto Princesa City, Bohol, Negros Oriental, Camiguin Island and Ilocos Norte, which are well-connected with Metro Manila.

However these areas are lacking in supply of hotel developments that could cater to the business travellers and, most importantly, the burgeoning budget-conscious tourists and the domestic tourism market. The reason is that investors tend to converge in Metro Manila due to the high quality infrastructure, ample supply of supporting developments, and overall high-connectivity to the business and tourist markets.

We are glad that the government has recently set out an integrated and sustainable National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP). The NTDP aims to implement development framework that will enhance market access and connectivity to high-potential tourism growth areas, by introducing key infrastructure projects and incentive programs to further attract investors.

It is surely welcome news that the government is set to implement an action plan that will not only entice investors but also ensure the sustainable development of the natural and enhanced wonders of the country. In addition to developing the tourism sector, the government could also encourage more accountability and enhance the transparency in the investment property market to attract more investors.

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