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DOT still optimistic on arrivals despite rising travel costs

By Ronnel Domingo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 20:44:00 09/07/2008

Filed Under: Economy, Business & Finance

THE DEPARTMENT OF Tourism hopes that the Philippine Travel Exchange will help push the industry?s revenues this year toward the target of $5.8 billion amid a shortage of accommodation facilities.

To be held at the SMX Convention Center on Sept. 10-11, Phitex 2008 will gather stakeholders and marketers that are expected to help meet this year?s target of 3.5 million foreign visitor arrivals.

?Phitex can help a lot to bring in those figures, which can also push our total room capacity to its limits,? said Tourism Secretary Ace Durano in a statement.

Durano said last August that available tourism accommodation could only serve up to 4.2 million or about a fifth short of the 5 million target for 2010.

?But the DOT will keep gunning for industry expansion and sustain the demand so as to encourage more private sector investments in high-end accommodation facilities,? he said.

Expected to attend the forum are tourism stakeholders who are from or are operating in France, Austria, Czech Republic, Spain, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Russia, Australia, Hong Kong, India, Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Canada and the United States.

?At least 166 of local sellers have so far registered to do business with the visiting buyers,? Durano said. ?Their transactions can bring in volumes of foreign visitors over the short and long term although this year we expect to have mostly by high-value activities like shopping and adventure tourism.

Phitex 2008 would feature the latest modes of adventure tourism, particularly birdwatching and glamping or camping in luxury, both of which have a large following in the high-end outbound markets of Europe.



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