Next government urged to prioritize airport infra
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - June 23, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – As the biggest hurdle to growth and development, infrastructure should be the utmost priority for the Philippines to sustain tourism growth momentum, a global hospitality consulting firm said.

In an interview, Asia-based C9 Hotelworks said the incoming administration should have decisive actions in creating airport plans.

“The main gateway airport is a national tragedy. This has to become a national concern and priority since there is disconnect between the public and private sectors,” C9 Hotelworks managing director Bill Barnett said.

“There should be interaction with the private sector, a greater cooperation between the two sectors. Address niche products such as sports tourism, wellness and medical tourism, the MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions, exhibitions) market,” he added.

The expansion of airports near resort destinations is also considered a catalyst for growth of the hotel industry that would further drive the tourism sector.

The ongoing development upgrades at the Caticlan Airport and Puerto Princesa Airport would not only help decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport but would also boost tourism footprint in Boracay and Palawan.

Meanwhile, Barnett noted the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” campaign which he considered very successful, has given the face and created a positive image to local tourism.

“But the question is, how are they gonna address that in the coming years. You do not just create a slogan but you should ask what the next generation is gonna be. You can’t just sing an old song, you have to sing something new and relevant,” he said.

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