Philippine hotel market lags behind neighbors
Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - December 24, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine hotel market is still lagging in comparison to its Asian neighbors mainly caused by lower foreign arrivals, a property services firm said.

“We still pale in comparison,” Colliers International Research manager Joey Roi Bondoc said when asked on the Philippine hotel sector’s performance in the region.

“In the first 10 months of 2019, only 6.8 million foreign tourists threw a glance at the Philippines, way below Indonesia’s 13.6 million, Malaysia’s 20 million, Singapore’s 14.3 million, Thailand’s 33 million, and Vietnam’s 13 million,” Bondoc said.

The 6.8 million foreign arrivals is still on track with the Department of Tourism (DOT)’s 8.2 million arrivals target under the National Tourism Development Plan(NTDP) 2016-2022.

With the lower foreign arrivals in the regional market, rates of foreign branded hotels in Manila continue to be lower compared to their counterparts in other Asian economies, according to Bondoc.

He said the average rate of selected five-star hotels in Manila was $190 in the first half of 2019 vs $315 in Singapore, $226 in Bangkok, $247 in Shanghai, $689 in Tokyo, and $355 in HongKong.

“Colliers attributes this to the relatively lower number of foreign arrivals in the Philippines compared to other Asian economies,”Bondoc said.

“This results in the Philippines receiving the least amount of tourism receipts versus other comparable Asian Countries,”he said.

Tourism receipts have already reached P379 billion from January to September this year, around 67 percent of the full-year target of P564 billion.

DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat earlier stressed that  more emphasis should be given on tourism receipts over arrival figures.

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

In line with this, Puyat said the DOT is boosting its effort to generate more revenues and is planning a number of initiatives to encourage tourists to spend more,

Among these efforts is the launch of the first Philippine Fun Sale in March during which all malls will hold sales for one month.

Puyat said that the nationwide sale would attract tourists to the country, as well as encourage more spending from local tourists.

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 the sale.


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