MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines, by 2016, will attract at least 10 million foreign tourists and 35.5 million local ones, earn P1.99 trillion in tourism receipts and generate 7 million jobs for Filipinos, according to Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr.
Jimenez cited on Wednesday budget airlines or low-cost carriers offering lower rates and better deals and the government putting in place infrastructure projects, including roads and airports, to ease visitors’ transfer to must-see destinations in the country.
He told delegates to the Pacific Asia Travel Association (Pata) Travel Mart on Wednesday that major infrastructure projects to improve the country’s tourism sector “are in the offing, mostly at the bidding stage, as the government’s decision to go for seamless travel [across the country] is all in the works.”
Jimenez said new airports would be built in Daraga, Albay, in the Bicol region and Bohol in Central Visayas. He added that the three terminals of the country’s premier Ninoy Aquino International Airport would be rehabilitated to ease congestion and improve safety.
Pata Vice Chairman Rick Anderson, in the same gathering, said the Philippines is likely to achieve its targets for the tourism sector. He also cited the Philippine economy as one of the fastest-growing economies in the Asia-Pacific region.
“The Philippines is a tourism giant now flexing its muscles…there is now greater awareness [in the world about the Philippines],” Anderson also told a news briefing during the Pata Travel Mart, which started on September 26 and will end on the 28th.