Gov’t allots P29B for tourism infrastructure

Bid to improve experience of local, foreign travelers

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FILE PHOTO FROM DPWH.GOV.PH

The government is spending P29 billion—P12 billion this year and P17 billion in 2014—on a tourism infrastructure program that will connect tourist spots to major roadways.

The program is being implemented by the departments of tourism and of public works and highways. “DPWH will be building roads in areas identified in the national tourism plan in order to improve the travel experience for tourists. This is the first time that the government has set a dedicated budget for tourism infrastructure,” Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. told reporters. “We want to connect tourism areas as much as we can so tourists can have a fun experience.”

Jimenez said the Philippines was on track to hitting its foreign tourist arrivals target of 5.5 million for 2013. Domestic tourism, however, is seen to exceed the target 47 million for 2013. “It’s about the halfway mark for international arrivals. For the domestic market, I think it just keeps growing,” he said.

The tourism official said that during the Holy Week alone, the agency recorded about three million domestic tourists.

Aside from improving road conditions in tourism areas, the DOT is also monitoring the development of hotels and other establishments catering to tourists.

“So far we seem to have enough hotel developments to keep pace with tourism growth,” Jimenez said.

The opening of new flights in remote areas helped boost tourism and lessen seasonality in domestic travel and utilities such as water districts have much room for growth as well, Jimenez added.

“Boracay, for example, no longer has an off-season or low season. What happens is that domestic tourism tends to grow just as foreign tourism tapers during the rainy season,” Jimenez said.

It is not only tourism areas that are enjoying more popularity but also travel activities such as diving. Jimenez said that these days, tourists might come to the Philippines not just to go to one area but to go on a tour for a particular activity such as diving, for which we have many suitable areas all over the country.

Tourism is one of the “low-hanging fruits” identified by the National Economic and Development Authority in the Philippines’ development plan from 2011 to 2016. The sector is expected to readily generate investments and create jobs to help the economy expand at an average 7 to 8 percent until 2016.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/klep.tomanyak.3 Klep Tomanyak

    Dapat damihan pa ng gobyerno ang paglagay ng red light districts at ipa encourage ang mga negosyo tulad ng ktv bars, bahay parausan, at shabu tiangge.

  • troyg318

    good to hear that hopefully this will happen and not just be another praise release, till then let us keep our fingers crossed.

  • disqusted0fu

    These allotments of the government to different “projects” are questionable… because you rarely see the results of it. Regarding these road projects, it would be better if they prioritize the fixing of the existing roads that the PH has before they start building new ones. Because for all we know, some of the P29 billion or so could just go to the tuwid na daan since the tuwid na daan is as crooked as many roads in the PH

  • Brody619

    I agree with Pinoy Dude. If I may add transportation
    circulation is next to hotel hospitality. Getting there is half the fun.
    Transportation should be prioritized, and a strategy for overall improvement
    should be set into milestone just like in California. Here are some of my
    critical views as a visitor.

    — Roadway traffic design is sorely lacking. Traffic control
    devices are too few to provide safe and regulated guidance. U-turns, as opposed
    to traffic lights, are unsafe and inefficient usage of roadway space, and
    provide discontinuity of traffic speed. Different categories of commercial
    vehicles use the same road space, and need to be regulated and segregated at passenger
    stops.

    —Traffic enforcement is nearly absent, resulting to
    chaotic use of the road and promoting undisciplined drivers.

    —Air pollution creates an atmosphere of filth that stains
    many adjacent buildings and bridges making them look older. Air-condition vents
    in many commercial building are typically stained with diesel soot. One can
    only guess the death statistic from lung cancer in the country may be higher
    than normal

    —Lacking integrated use of multi-modal transit. Too much
    reliance on busses for long distance trips. Railway system, which provided a
    successful transit between cities and provincial towns was discarded, not by
    low passenger demand, but by political reason.

    —Bad passenger service by international PAL airline crew
    in caring for their kababayans led many balikbayans using other international
    airlines.

    —Some airports are still behind in modernization. Bohol, a
    typical example, has several tourist attractions but the airport does not
    provide a welcoming mat.

    In order to make tourism one of their top priorities,
    responsible public agencies must take care of these eyesores.

  • PinoyDude

    Other improvements:

    1. Traffic informational signs “white letters against a green background” are sorely lacking in Metro Manila even in the countryside. These signs will be a big help for motorists because it tells them how far they are from their destination in terms of kilometers when they are driving.

    2. Street signs is another thing most of them are poorly made. Quite a good template for street signs are the ones installed in Bonifacio Global.

    3. Roadways with fading road markers should be repainted.

    4. A decent rapid bus system.

  • sir jojo capapas

    Ayusin ang tourism infrastructure ng Palawan………nakakahiya….!!! …you are trying to attract international tourists sa Underground River…..dapat inuna muna ang kalsada at electricty…..sa El Nido ang Sewage System at maintenance ng costal areas nakakadismaya……what a SHAME…..!!!

    • bobybooboo

      Ito na nga po yung article. Mag-aayos na nga daw po ng mga kalsada. With regards to sewerage system and electricity, siguro dapat yung local government na ang kalampagin dyan.

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