PH tourism industry bounces back in September
MANILA, Philippines – The country’s tourism industry surged by 17% in the first 9 months of 2014, even as travel advisories slowed down the growth of tourist arrivals between January and September, Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Ramon Jimenez said on Wednesday, November 12.
Budget carriers felt the brunt in September when China advised its citizens to avoid the Philippines after a foiled bomb plot at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3. There were also reports of an alleged attempt by supposedly by an anti-China group to strafe the Chinese embassy in Manila.
While Jimenez did not give figures, he said September data reflected an increase of tourist arrivals by 4%.
“We are bouncing back. We are growing in all markets,” Jimenez told reporters at the sidelines of the Asia CEO Awards on Wednesday night.
China's advisory to its citizens spelled indefinite suspension of AirAsia Zest’s Kalibo-Beijing and Kalibo-Shanghai services.
Cebu Pacific and Tigerair, on the other hand, cancelled 149 chartered flights to and from mainland China.
The 4 countries are the Philippines’ top markets, apart from South Korea, Canada, Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia.
The DOT recorded 3.27 million tourist arrivals in the first 8 months of 2014 – a 2.72% jump year-on-year. Tourism revenues booked P144.4 billion ($3.29 billion)* for the same period.
“It’s not about counting people who come out of an airplane. It’s about how much revenue you make per tourist,” Jimenez said.
The tourism industry is seen as the country’s “promising” growth driver as it not only generates revenues but jobs as well.
In contrast to business process outsourcing, the tourism industry, along with manufacturing, can provide more jobs for Filipinos and sustain the country’s economic growth, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan previously said.
During the Philippine Economic Briefing in September, economic managers said at least P553 billion ($12.32 billion) worth of infrastructure projects are being rolled out in the next 12 months to help provide tourists good access to key destinations in the Philippines. – Rappler.com
*US$1 = P44.87