MANILA - The Philippine tourism industry needs loans, tax breaks and other concessions to survive, an industry group said on Monday.
Jojo Clemente, president of the Tourism Congress of the Philippines, said travel and leisure companies want to continue running their business, but need help from the government and private sector to be able to do this.
“There have already been some companies that I know of which have decided to either temporarily go out of business, or get out of the business altogether, because perhaps their resources will not be enough to ride out the storm,” Clemente said in an interview with ANC.
Clemente said zero or low interest rate loans with favorable payment terms, tax breaks, wage subsidies and waiving of fees for tourism companies will help “stave off bankruptcies.”
He said the industry has had no revenues for the last few weeks and will likely not have any “big revenues” either for the next 2 to 3 months.
“The paradox of tourism is that during the good times, we bring it so much revenue for the country. We are responsible for almost 13 percent of the GDP," Clemente said.
"But when situations like this arise we become the last priority in terms of resources."
But industry players also understand that tourism is seen as a non-essential business. Because of this, travel and leisure companies will be happy for any help the government and private sector can extend to them.