MANILA, Philippines – In line with heightened efforts to boost the country’s tourism industry, the government is eyeing to double its tourism receipts to $8 billion in 2016, a tourism official said.
Tourism Promotion Board chief operating officer Domingo Ramon Enerio III, in an interview with The STAR at the Puregold Sari-Sari Store Convention, said for this year alone, tourism receipts – money spent by foreign visitors in traveling to the country – is seen to reach $4.95 billion.
For next year, it is expected that tourist spending would further increase to $6.07 billion.
دریافت های گردشگری طی سالهای گذشته در حال افزایش بوده است. در سال 2011 ، این مبلغ 2.99 میلیارد دلار بود و در سال 3.82 به 2012 میلیارد دلار رسید.
Enerio said the projected increase in tourism receipts is consistent with the government’s goal to bring up the number of tourist arrivals to 10 million in 2016. For 2013, the Department of Tourism is targeting foreign arrivals to hit 5.5 million.
He said they are confident of hitting the 5.5-million mark this year since there are already about 4.3 million tourist arrivals registered so far this year.
“We are very optimistic that we can hit that target. We are doing our best to promote our country as the most attractive tourist destination in Asia,” he added.
DOT data showed that tourist arrivals reached 4.2 million in 2012, up nine percent from 3.9 million in 2011.
For the first three months of 2013, tourist arrivals grew 11 percent to 1.27 million.
Enerio also solicited the people’s help and cooperation in achieving this goal.
“Tourism is a people’s business. There is no success in all these tourism promotion efforts without the help of the citizenry,” Enerio said in his speech at the Puregold convention.
The DOT official also urged small retailers to take part in the tourism promotion of the country by developing retail products that could be patronized by tourists.
“We want an inclusive growth. The DOT’s vision and mission is for all members of the society to take part in the country’s economic growth, including growth in the tourism industry. We also want to make sure what we will do at DOT will be for the benefit of the Filipino people,” he said.
Earlier, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez said they are optimistic that the influx of foreign tourists would be sustained for the rest of the year.
“We are on track of our target of 5.5 million foreign tourists arrival for 2013,” Jimenez said. By the end of the Aquino administration in 2016, the number of tourists arrival is forecast to hit 10 million.