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PHL seen to become tourism powerhouse in Asia by 2028


Tourism industry stakeholders on Friday expressed confidence that the Philippines would become a tourism powerhouse in Asia by 2028 through the government’s national tourism development plan (NTDP).

“Traditional initiatives will no longer be the way to go, but innovative programs can attract new markets that we have never tapped before,” Loleth G. So, Hotel Sales and Marketing Association president, told BusinessWorld in a Viber message.

For the hotels industry, this means partnerships with airlines and tour operators, upskilling existing industry talent, and providing expertise in the government’s tourism workshops.

“A lot of our member hotels have implemented sustainable programs and innovative strategies to be able to keep up with global markets,” Ms. So added.

Travel companies also expect collaboration between the public and private sectors to be key, Aileen C. Clemente, Rajah Travel Corporation (RTC) chief executive officer, said in a phone message.

She said the NTDP’s implementation will hinge on DoT’s ability to coordinate with other sectors.

“It is largely dependent on DoT and how well they are receptive to private sector and other stakeholder inputs,” she noted. The RTC is one of the companies that DoT consulted in forming the NTDP.

Philippine Airlines Spokesperson Cielo C. Villaluna said that the flag carrier “supports the DoT’s aims towards a sustainable, innovative, inclusive, and globally competitive tourism industry.”

The airline also said it will continue to introduce innovations such as its new online portal focusing on flight deals and build its route network this year, including added flights to and from Perth, Seoul, Beijing, and Macau, among others.

In 2022, international arrivals reached 2.65 million, translating to P214 billion or roughly $4 billion in estimated revenue.

Tourism Secretary Christina G. Frasco formally unveiled the completed NTDP for 2023 to 2028 on March 15. It will serve as a guidebook to “grow the impact of tourism upon our economy in the next few years.” — Brontë H. Lacsamana

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