Freeman Cebu Business

Philippine tourism route depends on admin’s marketing plan

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Newly appointed consultant to the Department of Tourism (DOT) Robert Lim Joseph is now studying areas on how to help the new government to be more effective in pushing tourism in the Philippines.

DOT secretary Wanda Corazon T. Teo recently named Joseph as one of the consultants of the agency.

Joseph who is known as one the vocal tourism private sector players in the country, and also a passionate promoter of Cebu, said that he still has to familiarize the marketing plan for tourism of the new administration, before he can come up with his own assessment or advise , if needed.

In his recent State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Rodrigo Duterte said that the government will address issues on infrastructure and destination access to propel tourism growth.

"In the field of tourism, we shall construct more access roads and tourism gateways to service centers and tourist sites.”

Likewise, Teo also reiterated that among her priorities for 2016 are the improvement of roads, bridges, and gateways like airports and seaports; the development of other destinations and improvement of the present destinations; and the implementation of more promotions to be able to hit the arrivals target.

Under the National Tourism Development Plan, the agency’s target for foreign visitor arrivals is 10 million for 2016, and 56.1 million for domestic tourists.

Joseph, who is now the chairman of Network of Independent Travel Agencies (NITAs) recently said that slow and expensive internet connection service in the Philippines is seen to threaten Cebu's positioning as MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibit) destination.

"Cebu is MICE destination. It is attracting high-end market, and these people need high speed internet connection," said Joseph.

Joseph said no matter how the telecommunication networks' defend this problem, the Philippines still has the most expensive internet connection charge in Asia, and the slowest.

While this is affecting the country, moreso Cebu in attracting high-brow and high-spender MICE groups, this will also pose danger and discourage even the individual or leisure travelers, as internet has become part of everyone's daily regimen.

"Tourism can not grow [to hit our potential] if our telecommunication providers will not address the connectivity speed," said Joseph.

Top five areas that telecom companies should prioritize in improving internet speed infrastructure include Cebu, Bohol, Boracay, Dumaguete and Palawan. (FREEMAN)

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