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Phl needs more tourism products to attract big markets

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - December 16, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines needs to develop more tourism products for big markets such as China, India and Russia, if it wants to attract more visitors to the country, a hospitality consultancy firm said.

In an interview, C9 Hotelworks Co. Ltd. managing director Bill Barnett said that as the government is actively promoting the country as a tourist destination, it needs to look at ways to attract tourists from big markets like China, India and Russia.

“For Philippines to dramatically increase tourism, they have to look to the closest catchment markets like China,” he said.

He said the Philippines needs to look at how it could attract the Chinese to visit the country and change the negative image created after the hostage crisis in Manila two years ago which resulted in the death of eight Hong Kong tourists.

He noted that China, India and Russia, are all seeing improving purchasing power.

The Philippines, he said, could entice more tourists to visit if more products such as attractions and activities, other than gaming and shopping, are developed and offered.

While the Philippines hopes to encourage gamers to visit the country for the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.’s Entertainment City, Barnett said there is not much infrastructure or attractions being developed at the Entertainment City now for other segments of the market.

The integrated entertainment and leisure complex Entertainment City, is located along a reclaimed portion of the Manila Bay.

“You have to create more demand and creating demand is having different infrastructure,” Barnett said.

Development of amusement parks, cultural facilities and offering cruises, he said, could help draw more tourists to the Philippines.

Tourism products, he also said, would have to be affordable as more people from the middle-class are traveling.

He said improvements of airports would likewise be necessary to bring more people to visit the country.

“The key is airports. You can’t stay there if you can’t get there,” he said.

The government is aiming to attract 10 million visitors by 2016.

Data from the Department of Tourism showed that in the January to October period, tourist arrivals reached a total of 3.478 million, 9.18 percent higher than in the same period last year.

 

BARNETT BILL BARNETT DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM ENTERTAINMENT CITY FOR PHILIPPINES HONG KONG HOTELWORKS CO INDIA AND RUSSIA MANILA BAY PHILIPPINE AMUSEMENT AND GAMING CORP WHILE THE PHILIPPINES
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