Tourism group targets more than 10M visitors

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The Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) is confident that the country can beat government estimates of attracting 10 million foreign tourists annually by 2016.

Outgoing PTAA president Aileen Clemente said the government’s goal, which was more than thrice the number of tourists that came to the country in 2010, was a conservative estimate, given the recent good press the Philippines has enjoyed in the international community.

“That’s a conservative estimate. But personally, I’m not that keen on arrivals. What we want are an increase in receipts,” Clemente said, referring to the average amount of money a foreign tourist spends in the Philippines.

“If our average receipts are high, we might not even have to attract that many tourists to boost the economy,” she said.

At the moment, the average tourist from Southeast Asia spends about $200 a day usually on two to three-day visits to the Philippines. Europeans, meanwhile, spend as much as $700 a day and stay an average of two weeks per visit.

The Department of Tourism expects 4.5 million tourists to visit the Philippines this year, despite a standing state-sponsored ban on travel tours to the Philippines by the Chinese government. This would be higher by 18 percent from the 3.9 million tourists last year.

“Other markets have been picking up the slack,” Clemente said.

China was the fourth-largest source of tourists for the Philippines in 2011, although Clemente said it was a “far fourth” compared to the top three of South Korea, the United States and Japan.

She credited the Aquino administration’s good governance efforts, which have helped stabilize the local economy, for the increased interest in the Philippines.

“What foreigners see is stability, and that makes the Philippines attractive,” she said.

Clement said the target would only be met if the government would make good on its pledge to increase infrastructure spending and make travelling to the Philippines more convenient for foreigners.

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  • foreignerph

    400$ per day??? Shows in what a terminal bubble full of wishful thinking Filipino officials live. The few rich Europeans won’t spend their holidays in the Philippines because other places are much better, certainly for that price. The ones that come are budget travelers and adventurers, and I (European) never spend more than 1500-2000php (50$) per day when on travel.

    On a longer stay, I spend about 700 euro per month (included high visa fees and rent) or 35,000 php / 30 days = 1200 php / day = 30$. That includes also the college fees, food and allowance for one college student that I support.

    Totally unbelievable. Those “planners” should be fired. 700$ x 14 days = 10,000$ or 1/3 of the annual total income of a middle class northern European.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/LSC6LC55H5VT4O7223VVC7XD7A Maurice

    Europeans spending 700 US$ per day???
    Are you kidding me? Never?!!!

    700 $ x 14 days = 9800 US $  

    No way! Just a very, very, very small quantity from Europe spend that much. Maybe less 1 %.
    Believe me, I live in EUROPE.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QZZKXPEA67I7HELEIYM35QVYFA Jon

    Ayusin muna ang “Worst Airport in the World” bago mag-asam na dumami ang turista.

    • foreignerph

      I like NAIA, having passed by there over 36 times the past 7 years. I even spent the night there a few times waiting for my connecting flight. Many European railway stations are much worse.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KZAAB7HD25WF7UJIFY3RN6ITS4 ROMEO

    The government should make sure that traveling in the country is safe and convenient to both Filipinos and foreigners alike…

    • foreignerph

      But travel is safe and convenient! I made a tour around Zamboanga earlier this year by bus and jeepneys even visiting some mosques (Taluksangay for instance) and talking to the imam. If you show respect and curiosity about their lifestyle and mix with the locals, even an unexpected road stop delay is fun. There are of course some caveats like avoiding drinking sprees, not wearing designer clothes and not flashing fancy electronics gear, but that’s plain common sense.

  • mark1205

    With such number, I could imagine the airports of Manila and Cebu too crowded that the tourists would not want to return. 

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