Commentary: The best is yet to come for RP tourism
Tacloban City (September 11) -- For the first time, the Philippines would have more than three million tourists in 2007, but the best for Philippine Tourism is yet to come.
This is the pronouncement of Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano during the Philippine Travel Exchange in Cebu City last week.
Secretary Durano revealed that some $2 billion worth of tourism projects are being developed nationwide to meet the unprecedented demand for hotel rooms.
In the past, Secretary Durano said, the problem was lack of business. Today, the problem is lack of rooms to accommodate the influx of tourists. While the country used to get only 200,000 foreign arrivals three times a year. Today, there are more than 200,000 foreign arrivals every month and that is good business all year round.
The issue is never the peace and order situation but when the new hotels are opening, the Secretary said.
Tourism statistics show that tourist arrivals of 1,528,507 from January to June augur a little more than three million visitors expected this year.
Meanwhile, no less than Tourism Secretary Ace Durano was the guest of honor during the opening of the 18th Philippine Travel Mart at the Megatrade Halls of the SM Megamall on September 7.
The presence of Secretary Durano underscored the distinction of the Philippine Travel Mart which is annually organized by the Philippine Tour Operators Association, the Department of Tourism and the Philippine Convention and Visitors Corporation.
Aside from Secretary Durano, the other Tourism bigwigs present were Senate Committee on Tourism Chairman Senator Richard Gordon and House of Representatives Committee on Tourism Chairman Congressman Edgar Chato of Bohol.
This year' Philippine Travel Mart is participated by about 160 locators all of which are beautifully and uniquely decorated with local indigenous materials. If in the past years, the locators were contented with only one or two or the most is one pavilion, several of this year's locators got for themselves two pavilions, a proof that the Philippine Travel Mart continues to grow stronger through the years.
"Everything's Here For You" is the adopted theme to emphasize the Philippine Travel Mart's distinction in the market at the country's one-stop reference on tour packages and the various components of travel such as transport, accommodations, dining, banquets, convention sites, traditional and new media marketers and promoters.
The Philippine Travel Mart (PTM), is the premier inbound tourism event that gathers the 16 regions of the country under one roof showcasing their destinations and latest tourism products and services to consumers and members of the travel trade industry, and information on travel possibilities - where to go, what to see, where to stay what to do, among other things.
This is always a venue where foreign Buyers get an exclusive visit to the PTM booths to meet the regional/provincial tourism councils and learn more about the products and services on exhibit. (PIA 8) [top]