PH tourism to recover with eased international travel | Inquirer Business
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PH tourism to recover with eased international travel

Department of Tourism

Department of Tourism | FILE PHOTO

Tourism activities are expected to further gain traction in the second half with more foreign tourists arriving on local shores following the reopening of international borders, a Department of Tourism (DOT) official said.

Sharlene Batin, Tourism Regional Director for National Capital Region, said that over 800,000 foreign tourists have arrived in the country since the start of the year until July 15 as they maximize opportunities to travel for leisure and business.

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“And there are more coming daily. Prepandemic levels are not yet reached but we’re slowly getting there,” she said during a recent virtual event hosted by Conrad Manila.

She explained that meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) events have been driving the tourism sector as they bring in more tourist arrivals.

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MICE are events catering to large groups of professionals or individuals in the same field of interest or expertise. Conducting such events translates to major economic contributions given the amount of their spending, mostly in the hospitality segment.

According to global travel technology firm HotelPlanner, business events coupled with leisure trips have been on the rise and these are expected to drive hotel bookings in the country.

Meanwhile, Batin said the department was also pushing for increased domestic tourism as well, with the promotion of “lesser known regions” in Visayas and Mindanao.

“For all the Filipinos out there who have been saving up, now is the perfect time to travel and rediscover your own country,” she said.

Earlier, Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco laid out primary goals of the department to make the industry a major economic driver, including enhancement of tourism infrastructure and accessibility and closer coordination with local governments to improve overall tourist experience.

“Many measures could be improved as far as policy regulations, both on the national and local level, and proper coordination to be able to focus on the overall tourist experience from the time that he arrives to the point of entry to the time that he gets to his point of destination,” Frasco said.

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TAGS: domestic, Mice, Tourism
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