Pinoys urged to invest in sustainable tourism
To attract more German tourists, German Embassy officials are encouraging Filipino stakeholders to invest more on sustainable tourism such as developing and offering more ecotourism packages.
German Embassy Deputy Head of Commission Michael Hasper and Commercial Counselor Christof Wegner said there is a growing number of German tourists now who are willing to travel longer distances and pay for premium sustainable tourism
“We are the second biggest tourist group from Europe coming to the Philippines, and now we are seeing more Germans traveling even to places far from our country. The Philippines has the potential to tap that by developing more sustainable type of tourism packages,” Hasper said.
He said Germans love to do a lot of things including diving and anything that has to do with ecotourism because they love to see and experience places that are untouched by humans.
“The Philippines is a very beautiful country with a lot of places that can be developed. Germans love to visit places with unspoiled beauty aside from the beautiful beaches and dive spots you have here,” Wegner said.
In 2012, there were 67,023 German tourists that came to the Philippines which was a 9.53 percent growth from the previous year with only 61,193 German tourists that came.
February and March had the highest arrivals with 7,341 and 7,292,
In Central Visayas, however, there was a slight decline of German tourists in the first four months of 2013, registering a 4.84 percent decrease in arrivals from 11,227 in the same period last year to only 10,684 as of April.
Department of Tourism Regional Director Rowena Montecillo, however, said the tourism department remains optimistic that the European market including Germany will continue to grow especially with the recent removal of our flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) from the European Union (EU) Blacklist and with Cebu Pacific (CEB) now also working to also be allowed to fly to countries in the European region.
“We see a lot of promise about the lifting of the ban and soon we will see more Europeans coming here. In the past, their numbers are limited because of accessibility. With this development, we only expect more growth in the tourism sector,” Montecillo said.
Wegner said that currently the top destination for German tourists in the Asia Pacific is Thailand mainly because they have direct flights in that country.
“They have very good hotel, infrastructure and they offer a diverse type of tourism products. Accessibility also has a huge part to play on why German tourists visit their country more,” he said.
Hasper said that most of these German tourists that travel outside of the European region are not ordinary tourists.
“They are the ones who will pay for experience. They are willing to pay premium and they go in groups usually because they think it’s safer to travel in groups in far destinations.”
Aside from tourism, Hasper said that the robust economic growth in the country did not go unnoticed by many German businessmen who are now actively looking at opportunities in the Asia Pacific region.
“The opening of Daimler Group here marks the beginning of many more investments from our people. They see the Philippines and they will come to check out what other opportunities they can find here,” he said.
Currently, there are at least 150 German companies in the country now mostly located in Metro Manila.
“Daimler Group is the first major company that came and invest in Cebu. They are considered the ‘avant garde’ and when you get investment from companies as big as Daimler, you are sure to also attract more investments here,” Hasper said.
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