Philippines eyes 5.5-M tourists in 2013
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - The government expects tourism arrivals to reach 5.5 million in 2013, a million more than the 4.5 million target this 2012.
At the House committee on appropriations hearing on Thursday, August 30, Tourism Undersecretary for Promotions Daniel Corpuz said their agency’s “ambitious budget” will help them achieve its equally ambitious target of tourist arrivals.
“In terms of tourism performance, we ended 2011 with 3.9 million. We hope to end 2012 with 4.5 million and target an additional 1 million visitors for next year that will give us 5.5 million tourist arrivals,” Corpuz said.
From January to July of 2012, tourist arrivals reached 2.5 million, over 55% of the annual target.
Airports: the challenge
The Department of Tourism (DOT) is pursuing its targets through its branding campaign project, “It’s More Fun in the Philippines,” which was launched by Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. in January.
“The greatest impediment to growth and tourism is plain and simple ignorance. The world was ignorant of the Philippines,” Jimenez told the House appropriations committee after showing a short video presentation as part of the Tourism department’s campaign.
When asked by Lanao del Sur Rep. Pangalian Balindong how the DOT is addressing runway congestion in the country’s main gateway, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila, Jimenez explained that the problem of congestion has become apparent.
He said domestic trips have almost quadrupled in the last 3 years. Domestic trips were recorded at only 8 million in 2008, and has leapfrogged to 30 million in 2013.
The Budget department has allocated a P2.9-billion budget for the DOT. Of this, P2.6 billion will go to the Office of the Secretary, and the rest will be allocated to the National Parks and Development Corporation with P307.7 million and the Intramuros Administration with P38 million. - Rappler.com