MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) is confident the US$5 billion Entertainment City will put the Philippines in the world’s tourism map.
In a statement, the umbrella organization of travel and tourism operators said the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) project will also generate huge employment opportunities for tourism, travel, hotel, food and related industries.
“This will also spur domestic tourism and generate huge employment following the rise of several world-class, landmark establishments,” PTAA President Aileen Clemente said.
She said the Entertainment City will create a huge publicity, eventually drawing in foreigners to come see the country.
She stressed, however, that the government should make sure that gambling will not be the focus of tourism. It should only be one of the many elements, she added.
She said the government should set some parameters for locals who want to play in the casino, like granting of a permit to gamble, or giving them limited access with the issuance of identification cards.
“So they can show their ID and pay certain amount if they want to play in the casino in the Entertainment City. We can take a look at the Singapore model in running this,” she said.
Pagcor earlier said the Las Vegas-style facility is expected to generate $10 billion annually in gaming revenues alone, of which 25 percent or about US$ 2.5 billion will go to the government.