PhilippinesDOT takes stronger stance on balancing tourism goals with environmental sustainability.

PH eyes higher yielding tourists

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Boracay, Philippines.
Boracay, Philippines. Photo Credit: Getty Images

“I think we have to emphasise that in the years to come, there will be greater focus or emphasis on the yield for tourists. I think we have to really start positioning the Philippines as a higher yield type of a market,” DOT Undersecretary and spokesperson Benito Bengzon said.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) is setting its sights on higher yield tourists as part of its campaign for sustainable tourism.

“I think we have to emphasise that in the years to come, there will be greater focus or emphasis on the yield for tourists. I think we have to really start positioning the Philippines as a higher yield type of a market,” DOT Undersecretary and spokesperson Benito Bengzon said.

Bengzon said the Philippines is still on track with its tourism revenue target of about $6 billion for this year.

“What is important is that with the experience in Boracay, the other destinations are beginning to see the importance of ensuring that we maintain an optimum balance between a certain level of tourism activity, and making sure that we preserve the environment. This is going to be the approach of the DOT for next year and the years to come,” Bengzon said.

He said the lessons the country learned from Boracay would hopefully inspire other destinations to take a closer look at their business model.

“Maybe now is the best time for some of the stakeholders to realise that we cannot just be about the headcount. We need to make sure that we make the effort to ensure tourism development and promotions are sustainable in the long run,” Bengzon said.

The Asian Institute of Management Andrew Tan Center for Tourism (AIM-ATCT) backed the position, saying the Philippines should focus on the quality of tourists, rather than the volume of tourists it attracts.

“For an archipelago with small and fragmented island destinations, it makes no sense to go for tourist volumes. Going for quantity will just create another Boracay,” AIM-ATCT executive director Fernando Roxas said.

He said that from an industry perspective, it is not the number of tourists that matter but the revenue from tourism that counts. 

Earlier, DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the DOT is set to review the targets of under the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) early 2019.

She said the DOT would reviewing the NTDP with the Tourism Congress of the Philippines (TCP).

“So we will be reviewing our goals when you talk about gross domestic product (GDP) contribution, direct domestic tourism, etc.,” Puyat said.


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