Business travelers, expats help drive up demand for rooms | SunStar

Business travelers, expats help drive up demand for rooms

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Business travelers, expats help drive up demand for rooms

Monday, November 13, 2017

THE Board of Investments (BOI) launched last Friday the road maps for the hotel industry and the meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions (Mice) sector.

Trade Assistant Secretary Felicitas Agoncillo-Reyes told tourism stakeholders the new road maps are “very timely” as the United Nations has declared 2017 as the international year of sustainable tourism development.

“The BOI recognizes the importance of hotels and accommodations in the value chain of the tourism sector. We have witnessed the capability of the Philippines to stage international events. No wonder, in the midst of the proliferation of global hotel chains in major cities, our local hotel developers are also expanding aggressively,” said Reyes in a statement.

“There is a strong demand for more quality accommodations not only from tourists but also business travelers, foreign consultants and expatriates who temporarily reside in the country,” she said.

BOI has partnered with the Department of Tourism (DOT), the Philippine Hotels Ownership Association (PHOA) and the Philippine Association of Convention/Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers Inc. (Paceos) in crafting the road map.

Global competition

Both road maps, as part of the larger tourism industry, seek to enhance the industry’s competitiveness to contribute more to inclusive growth.

“We hope to immediately convene the sectoral working groups for the two industries and start on the implementation of the road maps,” said BOI Executive Director Ma. Corazon Halili-Dichosa.

She noted that they intend to pursue a proactive and targeted approach to address concerns in close partnership with the relevant associations, academe and other government agencies.

“We hope this will build your industry’s global competitiveness while also helping local stakeholders to compete on equal footing with the rest of our ASEAN neighbors,” Dichosa said.

The hotel sector and Mice industry have been identified by the DOT as among the main tourism components in the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP), which seeks to increase foreign tourist arrivals to 12 million and domestic travelers to 90 million by 2022.

Tourism-related industries accounted for 8.6 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016, according to figures released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

It contributed P1.245 trillion last year, up by 13.7 percent from 2015’s P1.09 trillion. Employment in tourism was estimated at 5.2 million in 2016, accounting for 12.8 percent of the total national employment figure. (KOC)

Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on November 14, 2017.

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