Philippines, A “Rising Star” in Tourism Sector

The World Economic Forum reported on Thursday that the Philippines now one of the world’s “rising stars” and the most improved Asian nation in terms of travel and tourism.
The Philippines “is the most improved country in the region,” WEF said in its “Travel and Competitiveness” report, noting the country’s “comparative strengths” in natural resources, price competitiveness, and a “very strong” prioritization of the sector.
In the WEF ranking of 140 countries, the Philippines placed 82, up from 94 in the WEF 2011 list that  covered 139 countries. “Government spending on the sector as a percentage of GDP (gross domestic product) is now first in the world, and tourism marketing and branding campaigns are seen to be increasingly effective,” the WEF report read, referring to the Aquino administration’s tourism initiatives and branding—“It’s more fun in the Philippines”—campaign. “In addition, the country has been ensuring that several aspects of its policy rules and regulations regime are conducive to the development of the… sector,” it added.
WEF listed better protection of property rights, more openness toward foreign investments, and few visa requirements for foreign visitors as areas where the Philippines fared well in terms of policy.
In a statement on the report’s release, WEF called the Philippines along with Panama—whose ranking jumped to 37 from 52—as the world’s “rising stars” due to “ policy improvements supporting the [travel and tourism] industry.”
The report noted the Philippines should improve on other areas to further raise its ranking.
“However, other areas—such as the difficulty of starting a business in the country, in both cost and length of the process—remain a challenge,” the report  read.
“Moreover, safety and security concerns; inadequate health and hygiene; and underdeveloped ground transport, tourism, and ICT (information and communications technology) infrastructure are all holding back the potential of the economy’s competitiveness,” it added.
Last month, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez said his department is targeting a bigger contribution of  tourism to the GDP and partnering with other agencies in improving travel infrastructure and policies.
The government wants to attract 10 million foreign tourists in the country. Last year, there were 4.3 million foreigners who traveled to the Philippines.
The WEF report, meanwhile, noted that Switzerland remained as the world’s most competitive travel and tourism destination in 2013.

Germany maintained its second best ranking, while Austria inched up to the third spot from fourth place.

Conceived in 1971 by European business leaders, WEF is an independent international organization that aims to engage business, political, academic and governments to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013 assessed 140 economies based on the extent of  factors and policies in place to develop and make the sector more attractive.

Google searches reveal top tourist spots

MANILA, Philippines – Beaches or water sports destinations are popular this year, based on internet search data by Google Inc.

In Google’s Zeitgeist (German for “spirit of the times”), a collection of top items searched on the internet by users from a particular area, the company identified the “fastest-rising travel destinations” in the Philippines.

Topping the list are beach destinations like Baler in Quezon province, a budding surfing hotspot; Coron town in Palawan, which is dotted with lagoons, caves, and rare fauna; as well as El Nido, also in Palawan, which is home to the posh El Nido Resort complex.


North Americans Visiting the Philippines for a Grand Tour this July 2009

The Bayanihan and the Banda Kawayan performs for group on Welcome Night

The Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Tourism and the Department of Trade and Industry once again join hands for the 5th Ambassadors, Consuls General and Tourism Directors Tour (ACGTDT) to the Philippines.

A promotional program that highlights the Philippines as a wholesome and attractive holiday destination, the ACGTDT, now on its 5th year, encourages North Americans to experience and enjoy Philippine culture and Filipino hospitality.

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Tourism seen savior of troubled firms

BAGUIO CITY – Semiconductor giant Texas Instruments Philippines Inc. (Tipi) may be losing because of the recession in the United States, but it may yet find a new lease on life – as a tourist destination.

The city council is studying a proposed resolution to open up the Baguio City Economic Zone, where Tipi and other factories operate, to industrial tourism in light of a crisis that is hurting its top manufacturers.

Tipi was the first American-led firm here to lay off employees when US officials acknowledged the recession last year.

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Tourism target missed; global woes blamed

MARIBAGO, Cebu. — The Department of Tourism missed its tourist arrival target in 2008 and has to push back its five-million goal by two years to 2012 because of the global financial crisis.

DOT Secretary Joseph Ace Durano told reporters at the launch of the Phil BXT tourism economic zone here that its 3.5-million arrival target in 2008 fell short by about 300,000.

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Honesty is the best policy in Batanes


Honesty Coffee Shop is a one of a kind store located in Ivana, Batanes.

What makes this Ivatan store interesting? No one looks after the merchandise so each customer is pretty much free to move inside the store.

Everyone is expected to be honest, the store owners trust the people enough to allow them to list the products they bought along with its corresponding price and then leave the payment in a drop box.

You can find an interesting sign on the wall that says “This store is too small for dishonest people,”.

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The Queen City of the South

The 6th International Tourism Forum for Parliamentarians and Local Authorities was held in The Queen City of the South, Cebu City. Almost 400 representatives from 78 countries were brought together to review the key factors affecting tourism and how national and local governments can contribute to respond to the current economic challenges while not losing sight of long-term sustainability goals.

With the theme, ‘‘Tourism and the Millennium Development Goals,’’ the forum was organized by the Tourism Department and the House of Representatives, with close supervision by the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

Initiated by Tourism Secretary Joseph ‘‘Ace’’ Durano, himself a true-blooded Cebuano, the forum aims the spotlight on Cebu and its new tourist attractions. These new places are set to give you doses of historical facts and loads, loads, loads of fun!

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Palawan river tops 7 Wonders list

The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park has topped the first phase of the world’s New 7 Wonders of Nature.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) reported that the Philippines has evidently secured the lead in the latest online race for the new wonder list of natural sites.

“The good news is clear: the Philippines bested all other nominees and has secured the eminent spot in the New 7 Wonders of Nature race, with Puerto Princesa Subterranean River first in the rankings,” the DOT said.

Aside from the underground river, other Philippine nominees in the Top 10 are Tubbataha Reef (No. 4) and the Chocolate Hills of Bohol (No. 5).

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Tourism agencies also conned by ‘pageant organizer’

The Department of Tourism and the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) also fell victim to the alleged organizer of the non-existent “Miss Young International” pageant, DOT said Thursday.

Tourism Undersecretary Oscar Palabyab said the alleged organizers of the pageant, allegedly led by Mark Ancheta, used the logo of the two government agencies on the pageant’s banner and tickets to the ‘coronation night’, which were worth P1,500 each.

Palabyab said the DOT did not authorize the organizers to use the logo.

The scam would not have been exposed if not for two Filipinos who hosted a dinner for the supposed candidates.

The candidates were able to tell Neriza Naig and Avian Torres their ordeal for the fake pageant over a dinner party.

“During the dinner, doon po isa-isa nang lumapit ang mga kandidata at saka yung mga parents na iyong mga hinanakit nila at mga reklamo nila. Iyon nga, parang na-maltrato po sila,” Naig said….

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Putting your town in the web boosts tourism, promotes local businesses

Currimao in Ilocos Norte is a fifth-class municipality. It may lag behind other towns in terms of development, infrastructure, or telecommunications but its tourism potentials are enormous. Its beach resorts are now attracting tourists all over Asia. With the boom in tourism arrivals, the demand for other tourism-related services increases. There is a need for more restaurants, spas, bus tour operators, etc, to serve the demands of both local and foreign tourists.

Aside from the natural resources, other towns are known for its local industries. San Miguel in Bulacan is one of them since this is a town known for its pastillas de leche and sweets. On the other hand, there are towns known for the leisure activities that it can host. An example is Guiuan Island in Eastern Samar, a third-class municipality that is touted as the country’s “next surfing capital.” [Continue Reading...]