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MANILA, Philippines — Rising inflation may impact occupancy rates of two- and

three-star hotels as it would affect the purchasing power of Filipinos, a property


services firm said.

“Higher inflation affects the purchasing power of Filipinos. So there could be some
belt-tightening for local travelers,” Colliers International Philippines research
manager Joey Roi Bondoc told The STAR in a text message.

Headline inflation hit a five-year high of 5.2 percent in June, higher than the 4.9
percent forecast by the Department of Finance (DOF).

Read more at https://www.philstar.com/business/2018/07/26/1836708/inflation-seen-


impact-local-travel-spending#MjiLC5EdFrQQu3aw.99

DOT strengthens tourism resiliency


By Jan Karla MadrioPublished on September 13, 2018

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CEBU CITY, September 6 (PIA)--The Department of Tourism (DOT) is strengthening the


resilience of the tourism industry in the country.

Through a series of symposiums held all over the country, DOT spearheads the Regional
Tourism Crisis Management, to ensure that the level of preparedness for crisis events is
intensified in all regions.

During the Central Visayas leg, tourism officers from local government units (LGUs) and
personnels from different business establishments attended the symposium.

The talks highlighted the promotion of the stability of the tourism industry in times of
adversity.

Security and Business Continuity Manager of FLOUR Philippines Henry Teodoro Hernia
stressed that the role tourism in the Philippines could make the country vulnerable
without it.
The industry’s contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) was at 19.7 and 21
percent for 2016 and 2017 respectively, as per the report of World Travel and Tourism
Council (WTTC).

For DOT to withstand vulnerabilities caused by Political turmoil, Economic instabilities,


Social disturbances, Technological Attacks and Environmental hazards, Hernia
emphasized that personnels involved in the country’s tourism sector must have a
thorough understanding of crisis management.

Hernia shared during the symposium a crisis management process called PUKSA which
was developed to ensure safety and security of tourists.

PUKSA stands for planning for risk prevention, understanding the value of emergency
planning, knowing the alarm and communication systems, system evaluation and
enhancement and adopting opportunities for improvement of the system.

Following the closure of Boracay island last April, other travel destinations in the country
have been flocked by rerouting foreign and local tourists.

Hernia stressed the importance of crisis management plans created by LGUs and
business establishments, which are helpful in countering problems caused by sudden
boost of the number of tourists

He also shared that this plan could help in preventing negative impacts affecting their
organization and the country’s reputation in case crises will arise.

In addition, Safety and Security Consultant Eugene Boco said that LGUs and business
establishments must understand the risk profile of the country and their respective
areas.

He added that this understanding is important, to come up with an effective crisis and
emergency plan.

According to Boco, disasters and emergencies could greatly affect tourist arrivals,
tourism receipts, the employment and the economy of the country.

“To manage these challenges adequately, tourism industries must need to adapted,
equipped and be more resilient in addressing these challenges in a flexible manner with
clear understanding of the special needs and concerns in emergency/disaster
management of the tourism sector,” Boco said. (JKM/PIA7)
DOT’s ‘POSE’ to address risks, threats vs.
tourism sites
By Gladys Pino November 24, 2018, 10:33 am

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DOT TOURISM EXPO: Photo shows the Cavite province's booth, whose design is inspired by the
province's iconic and historic site, Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine, and bears the provincial tourism tagline,
@taraCavitetayo. Cavite's products, services, culinary offerings and cultural presentations -
including those from other Region IV-A provinces like Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon - are
currently on exhibit at the Activity Area of Fora Mall in Tagaytay City until Sunday, Nov. 25. (PNA
photo by Gladys S. Pino)

TAGAYTAY CITY, Cavite -- Given the Filipinos’ fondness for taking “selfies” (self-portraits), a senior
Department of Tourism (DOT) official leveraged this famous social media trend to campaign for the
preservation of the region’s tourism sites.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the 1st Calabarzon Tourism Expo held at the Fora Mall here
Friday, Nelly Nita N. Dillera, director of the DOT’s Office of Industry Manpower Development, said
the various risks and issues threatening the industry today could be summed up into POSE --
pollution, over tourism/overcrowding, social issues, and environmental degradation.

Dillera, who formerly served as DOT director for the Soccsksargen region (South Cotabato,
Cotabato City, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City) in Mindanao, advised tourism
stakeholders “to think what they can do and contribute” every time they visit the region’s tourism
destinations.

She noted that pollution is a global threat that leads to other environmental issues.
This, she said, coupled with the various structures overtaking the country’s natural and cultural
landscapes are plaguing the tourism industry, which is considered a potent tool for community and
national development, represents 10 percent of the gross domestic product, and provides 10 percent
of jobs.

Dillera expressed hope that tourists would think of POSE when they travel since tourism is linked to
other sectors, for instance, agriculture (farm, agri tourism).

She said the industry has also evolved to include craft, nature/environment, culture, history, heritage,
and culinary delights, involving all people, including persons with disabilities (PWDs), senior citizens
and pregnant women.

DOT 4-A (Calabarzon) officer-in-charge, Marites T. Castro expressed hope to embarked on this
tourism expo annually.

The three-day expo, which ends Sunday, is part of the region’s strategies to aggressively promote its
best tourism destinations, products, cultural presentations, cuisine and services.

Provinces under the region -- Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon – were well-represented
in the exhibit area, as well as in the culinary sampling of famous delicacies shared to guests.

These delicacies included “pancit pusit” (squid noodles) and Valenciana -- both popular in Cavite;
“bulalo” (beef shanks and beef marrow bones) soup and fried “tawilis” (fresh water sardinella) from
Batangas; “budin” (a native delicacy of Quezon), and its famous “longganisang” Lucban.

Seen at the opening event were provincial tourism heads, travel and tour owners, tourism students,
local tourism chiefs, and travelers, who came to explore the countless tourism promises of
Calabarzon, the nearest complete destination area from Manila. (PNA)

Crisis in tourism

733SHARES1300
image: https://www.philstar.com/images/authors/1804834.jpg

SKETCHES - Ana Marie Pamintuan (The Philippine Star) - April 19, 2017 - 12:00am

In this peak season for tourism, the travel industry is hurting badly. The
kidnapping and beheading of tourists as well as terrorist threats in what used
to be considered safe travel destinations like Bohol are taking their toll on the
industry.

Earthquakes and aftershocks have compounded the problem. In Batangas,


resorts in the diving areas of Anilao and Mabini stood empty during Holy
Week.
Prospective travelers in fact have been expressing concern since last year
about security issues in the Philippines amid the brutal conduct of the drug
war. Not all the concerns, relayed to diplomatic missions in Manila, are over
human rights issues; most are about personal safety, especially for travelers
with children.

President Duterte should give priority to tourism as an engine of economic


growth. And he should order the heads of relevant agencies to go on crisis
mode amid the spate of travel advisories issued by the country’s top travel
markets.

Yesterday South Korea joined Australia, Europe, Japan, New Zealand, the UK
and the United States in issuing a travel advisory, with the Korean alert
focused on Bohol.

South Korea is the Philippines’ largest source of tourists, accounting for about
a million travelers annually, or a fourth of last year’s total arrivals. We could
have drawn more, but violent attacks on Koreans in the Philippines in recent
years prevented what could have been robust growth in arrivals. The
kidnapping and gruesome murder of businessman Jee Ick-joo by anti-
narcotics police right inside Camp Crame further dampened Korean
enthusiasm for visiting the Philippines.

We should be confronting this crisis decisively especially because safer travel


destinations with similar tourist attractions beckon in Southeast Asia. As I
noted during my visit to Hanoi last week, Vietnam got over 10 million tourists
last year – double the number in the Philippines. One of Vietnam’s attractions
has to be its ability to ensure the safety of visitors.

***

Alejandra “Dading” Clemente, Rajah Tours Philippines chair and grand dame
of the industry, is urging the Department of Tourism to launch “a very
aggressive PR campaign” overseas to counteract the impact of the travel
advisories and negative news about the country. The DOT has a Special
Contingency Fund for emergencies and crises “like what we are having now,”
Clemente points out.

She told me yesterday that perceptions of the country particularly in its major
markets are “so negative, resulting in the continuous cancellation of
bookings.”
Unless this is dealt with quickly, she warned, it would mean “empty rooms in
most if not all hotels in Manila and resorts in major destinations.”

***

Clemente wrote a letter the other day to Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo,
expressing her concern and suggesting an industry dialogue to tackle the
crisis.

“We wish to convey to you the feeling of apprehension of the private sector of
the tourism industry,” Clemente wrote, adding that the travel advisories were
starting to take their toll on industry players.

She wrote: “Recent events have placed the Philippines in a negative light as a
tourism destination. The full blown media reporting on the beheading of
tourists and other serious terrorist activities in our major destinations such as
Bohol, Cebu and other places in Central Visayas has resulted in the
perception that the Philippines has become a dangerous place for tourists. We
have been experiencing cancellations of bookings for incentive and big groups
from major markets namely, Japan, US and Europe. If this deteriorating
situation is not addressed immediately, it may adversely affect the flow of
tourism arrivals into the country.”

Clemente called for statements from the DOT “of a more reassuring and more
effective tone to convey a strong message.”

“Government and private sector need to act fast to arrest this very alarming
situation,” Clemente wrote.

***

While we are faced with this crisis, Vietnam is sprinting past us. I’ve been told
that European investors are increasingly picking Vietnam over the Philippines.
Foreign investors leaving China because of rising production costs are also
relocating to Vietnam.

Hanoi sees the value of tourism in driving economic growth especially in the
countryside. Jobs are created right in Vietnamese hometowns and they need
not leave their country to find decent employment. The government provides
the needed infrastructure such as roads.
Our tour guide in Vietnam, whose English name is Rocky, is 28 and the father
of a seven-month-old daughter. He took us to his three-story home, still under
construction, in Hai Duong City on our way back from Halong Bay. The house
was given to him and his wife by his parents-in-law. The house, with an area
of 125 square meters on every floor, is made of good-quality materials and
sits on about a hectare of farmland that the parents-in-law planted to flowers.

Demand in Hai Duong alone for the fragrant lilies and colorful gerbera is
enough to keep the flower farm in business. But Rocky, after being exposed to
foreign cultures in Hanoi, wants to set up a coffee shop-restaurant whose
ingredients are sourced straight from the farm. He likes to cook, he likes
coffee and green tea which is grown on the farm, and his wife, 27, is an
accountant who can handle the financial side of the business.

The farm will be a perfect site for a restaurant because the government is
building a new road right in front of the house. Rocky, who majored in tourism
and studied English to enhance his skills in the travel industry, said Hai Duong
became progressive after a highway was built to connect the city to markets
and tourist destinations.

His optimism reminds me of the spirit that permeated young Chinese as their
country was rocketing on its way to becoming the world’s second largest
economy. Soon the Chinese replaced their bicycles with BMWs, Audis and
Tuaregs.

Rocky, who still doesn’t know how to drive, told me he hoped to replace his
motorcycle with a car. Especially because he wants to have three children.
Unlike China, Vietnam puts no limits on the number of children that its citizens
who don’t work for the government can have.

Rocky is proud to have served as a guide and interpreter when “Kong: Skull
Island” was filmed in Halong Bay. He showed my mother and me his photos
with the director and star of the latest installment of “King Kong.”

Tourism can also promote a country as a site for filmmaking, which can
generate jobs and livelihood opportunities. Our Hollywood-mad nation should
be leading in this area; “Skull Island” could have been filmed in Palawan.

Instead what we get are negative travel advisories.


Read more at https://www.philstar.com/opinion/2017/04/19/1687239/crisis-
tourism#ybTRPhTRy6GuQey1.99

Threats to the economy


posted April 27, 2018 at 12:19 am by Manila Standard



The three major engines of economic growth are being tested in the domestic and
external fronts and may ironically slow down the country’s expansion.
President Donald Trump’s protectionist stance has endangered the flow of remittances
to the Philippines and is stunting the expansion of the business process outsourcing
sector. The Boracay mess, in addition, will certainly make a dent on tourism earnings
unless the government finds a quick fix and lures back foreign tourists who have been
enamored by the island’s powdery white sand.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Diwa Guinigundo conceded that President Trump’s rhetoric
to keep jobs in the US mainland could trim remittances of Filipino residents and prompt
American companies to think twice about outsourcing some of their jobs here.
Some members of the BPO Association of the Philippines, according to the Bangko
Sentral official, had informed the government that they were holding back expansion
projects in the Philippines because of Trump’s protectionist policy. BPO companies now
see the sector’s annual revenue growth slowing at around 9 percent or 10 percent from
the original expectations of a 25-percent expansion.
Remittances and BPO receipts account for a combined foreign exchange inflows of $50
billion annually and have supported the peso against the US dollar in recent years.
Remittances contributed around 10 percent to the gross domestic product last year.
Money sent home by overseas Filipinos reached a record $28.06 billion in 2017, up 4.3
percent from $26.90 billion a year ago in 2016.
Tourism, meanwhile, has directly generated jobs and contributed significantly to the
country’s foreign exchange reserves. That may not be the case this year if the fallout
from the Boracay closure is not contained. At stake is the livelihood of 17,000 hotel,
restaurant and other tourism workers. About 11,000 construction workers are also on
the island. Boracay drew some two million visitors in 2017, contributing roughly $1
billion to the economy.
The Department of Tourism, thus, must do a more aggressive marketing of other
alternative tourist destinations in the Philippines to lure more foreign arrivals amid the
six-month closure of Boracay Island. The Department of Trade and Industry, for its part,
should expand the country’s export markets to mitigate the reduced earnings from BPO
companies and slowing remittances.