ASIA Travel

Philippines Aiming for 6.3m Visitor Arrivals by 2016 - Interview with Department of Tourism

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[HD video below] On 20 January 2011, ASIA Travel sat with Mr. Benito C. Bengzon, Jr., the Assistant Secretary, International Tourism Promotions, Department of Tourism - Philippines, while he was at the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF 2011) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

In the interview we ask why the beautiful country of the Philippines has fallen behind many of its neighbours in terms of visitor arrivals, what plans are in place for the country to regain its rightful place as one of the top 5 destinations within Asia, how sports can help boost tourism, as well as education programs such as English as a Second Language (ESL) and Medical Tourism, which markets they are targeting the most and much, much more.

With over 7,000 islands, some of the most stunning beaches in the world, a populace that, in the whole, speaks excellent English, an ideal climate, and some of the best hotels in the region, the Philippines has all the right ingredients to be one of the world's top tourism destinations.

Between January to November 2010 the Philippines recorded 3.126 million visitor arrivals, the highest numbers in 30 years and a 15.6% increase over 2009. Korea bounced back as the number one source market with 49% growth during the period to record 659,397 visitor arrivals. Combined, China, Japan and Taiwan made up 36.9% of all visitor arrivals during that period in 2010. Taiwan alone was up 38% after 2 years of consecutive declines. Tourism receipts were estimated at US$ 2.2 billion, up 11% over the same period in the previous year.  The average spend is US$ 672.63 with an impressive average length of stay of 8 days.

The Philippines is aiming to double its visitor arrivals by 2016, and is promoting itself heavily in markets such as China, India, Russia and the Middle East. The India target will be assisted with PAL set to launch flights to India in March 2011.

To achieve its goals, the Department of Tourism, this year, has a budget of around 1.3 billion Pesos, but this could easily more than double if it gets its share of revenue from Pagcor.

HD Video Interview with the Assistant Secretary of Tourism for the Philippines

See also: HD Videos from the ATF 2011

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