ADBI floats idea of ocean tourism in PH | Inquirer Business
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ADBI floats idea of ocean tourism in PH

/ 04:05 AM December 30, 2021

The Philippines stands to benefit from developing ocean tourism, as long as it upgrades infrastructure and limits tourist capacity to ensure sustainability, the think tank Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) said.

“As a component of the blue economy, ocean tourism is an important contributor to the growth and development of the Philippines. As an archipelagic nation, tourism activities in coastline areas, as well as in offshore zones, contribute to revenues for cities and municipalities, job generation and skills development for local residents, and business opportunities. These can lead to improvements in the quality of life of communities,” Tokyo-based ADBI said in a Dec. 28 report titled “Developing the Philippine Blue Economy: Opportunities and Challenges in the Ocean Tourism Sector.”

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“The Philippine government has been active in policy development given the significance of ocean tourism. Policies couple tourism development with environmental protection and poverty alleviation and require multi-agency collaboration. However, despite the numerous tourism and marine ecosystem protection policies in place, many tourism destinations, often beaches, are experiencing uncontrolled development,” ADBI said.

Citing estimates, ADBI said the Philippines’ ocean economy contributed $11.9 billion in gross value-added in 2015, and accounted for about 7 percent of gross domestic product.

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“Coastal and marine tourism is the largest sector of the blue economy in the Philippines, contributing a quarter of the total value or an estimated $3 billion in value-added, with around 900,000 employees. Fisheries and aquaculture (20 percent) and manufacturing (19 percent) follow. The value of the ecosystem services that the marine and coastal environment provides is an estimated $17 billion,” ADBI said.

However, ADBI noted that the Philippines ranked 171st among 226 countries in the Ocean Health Index framework assessing marine systems. The country scored only 61 out of a perfect 100 in the index, which ADBI said was “alarming given the significant natural resources existing in Philippine marine and coastal ecosystems.”

“This suggests that the Philippines has been exploiting the ocean and marine resources in ways that are not sustainable,” ADBI said.

—Ben O. de Vera INQ
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TAGS: Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), Business, Tourism
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