Government targets P661 billion tourism receipts next year
Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - December 14, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) is boosting efforts to generate more revenues as it plans a number of initiatives that will encourage tourists to spend more, in line with achieving its target of P661 billion in tourism receipts next year.

In the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum Wednesday, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat emphasized the importance of revenues the tourism sector is raking in over the number of tourist arrivals.

“Of course (arrivals) numbers are very important but, for us, the revenues how much was earned is more important,” Puyat said.

She added that the country is on track to meet its tourism receipts target for this year of P564 billion under the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP)

Tourism receipts have already reached P379 billion from January to September this year, around 67 percent of the full-year target.

Puyat attributed the increase in tourist receipts to more hostings in the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) sector, as well as the continued international recognition the country has been receiving for its sustainability initiatives.

She emphasized that the closure of Boracay last year has created more attention for the country, attracting more tourists.

“A lot of people want to come here that’s why Boracay became number one (top destination in the country) because of the sustainable tourism efforts,” Puyat said.

Under the NTDP, DOT is targeting to hit P661 billion in tourism receipts next year.

In line with generating more revenues next year, Puyat announced that the DOT will launch its Philippine Fun Sale event next year, wherein all malls will hold sales for one month.

“By March we will have the first Philippine Fun Sale, for the first time, all the malls will come together: SM, Ayala Malls, Megaworld, Vista Land, Robinsons, SSI, Shangri-La, Powerplant Malls (to hold sales). It will be in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. That’s to attract tourist to come during March,” Puyat said.

The tourism secretary emphasized the cooperation and help that the private sectors, including the mall operators, have extended to the DOT in recent times.

“We noticed that all of them have been helping us individually so we decide why don’t we have this Philippine Fun Sale wherein all the malls will hold sales for one month,” Puyat said.

She added that the nationwide sale will attract tourists to come into the country, as well as will encourage spending from local tourists.

“They’re (malls) still talking about the mechanics...” Puyat said.

Based on data from the DOT in 2017, shopping was the number one activity done by tourists visiting the country, with 51.60 percent of tourists taking part in it.

Shopping is also where tourist spend a large amount of expenditure on, as it amounts to $20.90 of the average daily expenditure per capita in 2017 of $125.65.

The DOT earlier emphasized that building up shopping tourism in the country is part of the equation to spur economic growth, create millions of jobs, livelihoods and enterprises and help the Philippines become a globally recognized quality destination.

Apart from the Philippines Fun Sale project, Puyat also identified the opening of airports,hosting of more MICE events and targeting alternative markets as other factors that will boost the tourism sector’s revenues next year.

“And of course not only promote sun and beach, we’re also actually – we just met with our tourism attaches and our market representatives and we agreed to not only focus on our major markets, but also our alternative markets like South America – they actually don’t know that we exist.

“So we’re are going to be looking at alternative markets – strengthening alternative markets so that we don’t only rely on our primary market, but also on our alternative markets,” Puyat said. 

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