The Philippines : Moving up the world tourism ranking

The Philippines has advanced by five rungs in world tourism, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF), ranking 81st among 130 countries surveyed, in The WEF’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2008. It was 86th among 124 countries polled last year.

The survey was on the most attractive environments for the travel and tourism industry, factoring in government policy, regulations, environmental sustainability, safety and security, health and hygiene, and the priority given to tourism.

The WEF estimated that our hospitality industry last year earned $ 5.57 billion, reflecting a 4.4 percent annual growth, with an employment of about 1.3 million people. Aside from the economic contribution, tourism boosts the national image, reflecting foreign confidence in the country’s stability, infrastructure, and hospitality. Travel is a big come-on for investments since businessmen are part of the tourist crowd and their impressions count much in investment decisions.

The growth of the tourism industry translates to expansion in other industries, from transportation to recreational and lodging facilities, cultural centers, and a wide constellation of community-based handicraft and local attractions.

The improvement in the placing of the Philippine tourism industry may be attributed to the effective marketing and strategic programming initiatives of the Department of Tourism (DoT) and Philippine Tourism Authority, as well as the collaboration of other agencies, including the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Justice.

The country is on the right track on opening its doors wider to visitors. A correct proactive policy environment actively backs our culture of hospitality.

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