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HOW IMPORTANT IS TOURISM TO THE PHILIPPINE ECONOMY

HOW IMPORTANT IS TOURISM TO THE PHILIPPINE ECONOMY

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HOW IMPORTANT IS TOURISM TO THE PHILIPPINE ECONOMY

Topic |  
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bingoWould Tourism and Travel is big business  with a value of US$7.6- Trillion or 10% of  the world’s entire GDP (Gross Domestic  Product) employing 277 million people  worldwide.

The Philippines is ranked by the World and Trade Tourism Council as No.67 of  184 nations, indicating that Tourism is a major force in RP’s economy as well.  The same council said foreign visitors spent P256-B in 2014 here representing 69% of the country’s  total dollar earnings while the P533-B value is 4.2% of the  country’s GDP.

Meantime, DOT (Department of Tourism) secretary Ramon Jimenez claims that RP made a tourism – related  income of US$ 5-B from foreign tourists and P1-Trillion form domestic visitors  in 2014. He figures that next year’s foreign figures should tally US$ 6-B and anything beyond that is already a “major break through” for the country.

The country had already given up its ambitious target of 10 million tourists in 2016  (content with just  6 million ) but  focused instead on revenues generated which is a function of the number of  days a tourists stays and the average expenditure he makes while here.

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Tourism directly employs 4.9 million Filipinos representing about 11% of the total work force not counting the indirect workers in the food and drink suppliers to the industry.  Thus,  Tourism is the fifth largest employer industry. According to Jimenez, Tourism is also the third largest dollar earning industry, next to the BPO which the country now lords over globally eclipsing erstwhile leader India.

The Philippine Statistical Authority, on the other hand, has another method of  measuring  Tourism’s contribution via the (TDGVA) Total Direct Gross Value Added measurement versus the GDP.  In 2014, this TDGVA from foreign receipts was at  US$20.7B from foreign tourists and P983-B for local tourists – reflecting direct tourism value added and the “wider  effects of foreign investment, the supply chain and induced income impact”.

A 14% increase from 2013 levels, this represents 7.8% of GDP, according to the Philippine Statistical Authority.  The contirbutions came from Accommodation (32%), Shopping (15.6%), Miscellaneous (15%), Transportation (13%) Entertainment and Recreation (10%) Travel agents and tour operators (8%) and Food and Beverage only a low (4.7%).

Government has responded in kind.  The 2016 budget for Tourism is P3.6-B which is 44% higher than 2013’s P2.5-B, in fact, the government had already invested a total of P54-B in “tourism-related” roads under the aegis of the Aquino administration.  “The Tourism Department has a separate Road Budget which it implements in coordination with the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways)” according to the DOT chief.

He has always said “It’s More fun in the Philippines” and its partly because of its friendly, caring and English speaking Filipinos. “The Philippines, is its people , its people are the Philippines” Jimenez said and  that many in the Philippines will “work without pay if it means bringing tourists to their respective  places.”

Finally, the Philippines also prides  itself with the Eco-Tourism and Medical Tourism sub-sectors in the industry.

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Ecotourism is buttressed by the fact that the country has been named among the Top 25 nations with the most bio-diversified species of fauna and fora. Of the 30 million hectares of land. 15.8 million are tropical forests.  Its 7,101 islands have 586 bird species. 180 mammals and 293 reptiles and amphibians. 67% of which, scientists claim are not  found anywhere else in the world.  And many more are still being discovered.

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Medical tourism, on the other hand,  is here in the presence of high quality, cost effective health care centers and hospital, the best of which can be at par with the best in the world  – added to the unique caring attitude of Filipino medical practitioners and their associates.

Given our natural assets bequeathed by Mother Nature and a people as if born to play hosts to visitors all year long, Philippine Tourism will be a mahor asset in the country’s economic Balance sheet over the long haul.

For comments: email to dejarescobingo@yahoo.com or bohol-rd@mozcom.com

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(By Zoilo  “Bingo”  P.  Dejaresco III)

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