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PABC Talking Points for PAMM 2011 - ATTACHMENT C


Investment Opportunities in Philippine Tourism
The Philippine Dept. of Tourism (DOT) is currently formulating a National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP), which is a strategy and road map to guide it in developing and promoting tourism up to 2016. The Plan will be completed by the end of June 2011 after which the DOT is planning to call a major conference of investors, developers, hotel management companies, and donors/development partners to inform them about the Plan.

Location/Tourism Assets/Tourist Arrival.
The Philippines is located in the southeastern rim of Asia and is made up of about 7,100 islands. The country is divided into three island groups: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The capital, Manila, is on the island of Luzon.

Its strategic location makes the Philippines easily accessible by air from East and Southeast Asia. The flight time from Japan, Korea, and most Southeast Asian countries is 3 hours and from Hong Kong, 1-1/2 hours. The flight from Taiwan to the northern tip of Luzon is only one hour.

The Philippines has a broad range of natural and cultural heritage assets, competitive with any of those found in the Southeast Asian region. It has UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the Tubbataha Reefs, the Ifugao Rice Terraces, and numerous Spanish-era colonial churches; a long coastline and a rich marine biodiversity as part of the Coral Triangle; festivals all year round, indigenous peoples with their own cultures, and an English-speaking people known all over the world for their warmth, hospitality, musical talents, and service-orientation. However, the Philippines has lagged behind its Asian neighbors in terms of tourism arrivals. In 2010, it received only 3.5 million international tourists. This dismal performance is due to several factors, mainly the lack of infrastructure such as modern international airports; lack of air access due to inhospitable civil aviation policies; negative perceptions in the overseas markets regarding safety of tourists; and lack of funds for marketing and promotions.

However, the domestic tourism scene is more robust. A household survey conducted by the National Statistics Office in 2009 showed that between April and September 2009, 22.8 million Filipinos traveled around their own country to visit friends and relatives (53.3%) and for leisure (34.3%). The DOT forecasts that by 2016, there will be 32.1 million Filipinos traveling around the Philippines. This huge domestic market is critical to underpinning the viability of public and private sector investments in tourism.

Infrastructure and Tourist Facilities/Services
98% of visitor arrivals to the Philippines come by air. Being an archipelago, air, sea and land infrastructure are key to its economic development. The country has 10 international airports most of which are Airbus 320 and Boeing 737-capable; 34 principal airports used for domestic scheduled flights; and 40 community airports used for general aviation. There are 25 sea ports providing passenger and Roll-on/Roll/Off facilities and 31, 242.38 km. of asphalt and concrete roads comprising the national highway system traversing the far north of Luzon Island down to the south in Mindanao Island.

In terms of tourist facilities and services, the Philippines has 65,052 accommodation units in 2,343 establishments. Average occupancy rate in 2010 was 67.6%. The DOT has accredited 314 travel operators and 1,474 tourist transport operators. Accreditation with the Dept. of Tourism is now mandatory under the new Tourism Act of 2009. There are approximately 7,000 more hotel rooms which will come on stream by 2013. These are located in Metro Manila; Cebu; Bohol; Davao, and Cagayan de Oro.

Tourism Markets and Product.
The Philippines’ top three international markets are Korea, USA, and Japan. The U.S. market is dominated by Filipinos who have become American citizens or permanent residents coming home to visit friends and relatives. China, Korea, Singapore and Malaysia have been exhibiting high growth rates in the past five years. The Australian market has demonstrated stable growth as shown in the following Tables:

Arrivals From Australia To The Philippines