PH eyes hike in tourist arrivals-A A +A
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
THE Department of Tourism (DOT) targets to bring in 10 million foreign visitors to the country in 2016, DOT regional director Arturo Boncato announced Tuesday.
Boncato said the goal of increasing the yearly influx of foreign visitors was incorporated in the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) for 2012-2016.
The NTDP was thoroughly discussed during the recent training attended by Boncato and the rest of the country's regional officers
"The recent training and workshops were all about the country's tourism direction for 2012 to 2016," Boncato said during the Club 888 Christmas party held at the Sarangani Room of Marco Polo Hotel Davao on Tuesday.
Boncato said opening secondary international airports to international flights will also boost foreign visitor arrivals.
The opening of Clark Airport as a secondary gateway for international flights will also be an answer to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport's flight congestions.
The move to open international flights from Clark to Davao was an initiative of the private sector and is seen to also boost tourism arrivals.
"The first sisterhood agreement initiated by the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII) with Clark Airport is an example of what the private sector has done, leading the way to a better private and public partnership in the future," Boncato said.
Visitor arrivals in the country reached 3.5 million last year and with a 3.8 million target for this year, Boncato said that they are confident to reach their target goal.
"As of October, we have reached 3.2 million visitors and in 2012 our target is to reach 4.1 million as we are looking at key markets and are seeing infrastructure developments here in the city," Boncato said.
Davao City is included in the top 10 destinations by the DOT's NTDP.
The top tourist destinations include Metro Manila, Cebu, Camarines Sur, Boracay Island, Baguio City, Davao City, Cagayan de Oro, Zambales, Bohol, Puerto Princesa City, Camiguin Island, Cagayan, Negros Oriental and Ilocos Norte.
According to Boncato, the first two weeks of December are still concentrated on corporate activities such as meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions and that remaining days of the month travelers market is from homecoming of Filipinos who are living and working abroad.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on December 14, 2011.