Tourism plan needs P2.3-trillion funding from private sector

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THE country needs over P2 trillion in private-sector investments in the country’s key tourism destinations to lift foreign-visitor arrivals to 12 million by 2022.

Under the Duterte administration’s National Tourism Development Plan  of 2017-2022, a copy of which was obtained by the BusinessMirror, the private-sector investments are being eyed for the acquisition of transport units (P1.6 billion), the establishment of more accommodations (P2.05 trillion) and the acquisition of aircraft (P238.2 billion). There is an estimated 120,00 shortfall in the number of hotel rooms in the country.

Private-sector investments to improve tourism infrastructure, including accommodations and transportation, along with government’s infrastructure investments, are seen giving jobs to 6.5 million people, and benefiting 541,000 poor individuals by 2022.

This developed as the Department of Tourism (DOT) encouraged micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) engaged in tourism-related business to
actively pursue foreign businesses to invest in the country.

About 300 delegates participated in the first Invest Tourism Philippines forum, titled “The Next Big Thing in Asia,” hosted by the DOT last week at the Diamond Hotel.

The forum sought to empower MSMEs with insights of local investors, businessmen and representatives of various government agencies.

Among the topics discussed were technological advances in hotel services and innovation advocated by MSMEs, such as Airbnbs, inns, homestays, boutique hotels and other
tourist services.

Tourism Undersecretary for Tourism Regulation, Coordination and Resource Generation Alma Rita Jimenez noted the impact of global travel and tourism in encouraging foreign investors to do business in the Philippines.

“You’ll have the confidence that when you put your resources in our shores, and that you can park your funds with us for a long term because it will give you steady and stable returns,” she said.

Dr. Aekapol Chongvilaivan from the Asian Development Bank gave an overview of the Philippine economy, dubbing the country a “rising star in Asia.” The Philippines recorded a 6.7-percent growth in its GDP  last year. GDP is sum of goods and services produced by the
local economy.

Chongvilaivan said tourism should serve as a major economic engine, emphasizing the government’s fiscal management and infrastructure development as it seeks to resolve unemployment.

Plenary sessions participated in by representatives from government and private sectors addressed issues confronting the tourism industry, and encouraged multilateral partnership and community involvement to achieve collective growth.

It was also stressed that MSMEs need to invest in information and communications technology-based innovations to enhance connectivity, and to monitor customer feedbacks, as well as enhance product endorsement and branding.

The panel also tackled the processes by which MSMEs could tap financial assistance, and brought up hindrances in getting loans to expand their businesses due to the large collaterals needed by the banks.

The participants also tackled the facilities and programs that gave local businesses access to information and business mentors, partnerships and community-wide development.


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