by Miguel Hanz L. Antivola, Reporter
The Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) – Tourism Sector has suggested providing 30-day visa-free entries and value-added tax refund schemes for tourists to boost the Philippines as a global destination.
Public-private partnerships for regional airports are also sought to drive demand and increase international airlines and routes operating, the group proposed in a meeting with President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. on Thursday.
It also motioned for improved incentives to expand the hotel industry for regional competition.
“Our recommendations are rooted in a collaborative effort to position the Philippines as a premier global tourism destination,” Sabin M. Aboitiz, PSAC lead convenor and Aboitiz Group president and chief executive officer, said in a statement on Friday.
“By showcasing our unique culture, cuisines, and natural beauty, we believe we can create a holistic and unforgettable experience for tourists,” he added.
The Tourism department said the industry generated P404.02 billion in revenue in the first 10 months of last year, after over 4.63 million foreign tourists visited the Philippines, a growth from 190% in the same period in 2022.
The international visitors are equivalent to “96% of our target,” Tourism Secretary Esperanza Christina G. Frasco said during a briefing in California in November, adding that projected revenue over the full year is $7 billion.
Tourism’s direct gross value added accounted for 6.2% of gross domestic product in 2022, higher than the 5.2% share in 2021, preliminary data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed.
Mr. Aboitiz noted the development of strategic campaigns from PSAC-Tourism, inspired by the region’s success stories, to showcase native cuisines and the country’s capacity to host major sporting events. – Reuters