The Private Sector Advisory Council - Tourism Sector (PSAC - Tourism), comprising top business leaders from various industries, has presented transformative recommendations to revolutionize Philippine tourism. These proposals were discussed in a meeting with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., reflecting a collective commitment to elevate the country's standing in the global tourism landscape.
During the meeting held at Malacañang, PSAC lead convener and Aboitiz Group President and CEO Sabin Aboitiz, underscored the need for strategic initiatives to make the Philippines a top-tier tourist destination. The council emphasized the importance of attracting tourists and ensuring they have a compelling reason to stay, spend money, and return.
Together with Aboitiz are PSAC Tourism members, Lance Gokongwei of JG Summit Holdings Inc., Lucio Tan III of LT Group, Rene Limcaoco of Hertz Philippines and Lourdes Josephine Gotianun-Yap of Filinvest Development Corporation.
Inspired by success stories from India, China, Singapore, and Thailand, PSAC-Tourism proposed a comprehensive campaign to showcase the rich tapestry of native cuisines and advocated for hosting major sporting events to create an immersive and engaging experience for visitors.
"Our recommendations are rooted in a collaborative effort to position the Philippines as a premier global tourism destination. By showcasing our unique culture, cuisines, and natural beauty, we believe we can create a holistic and unforgettable experience for tourists," said Aboitiz.
PSAC-Tourism recommended temporary 30-day visa-free entry for tourists while streamlining the e-visa process. The council also suggested exploring third-party service providers to enhance the efficiency of the eVisa system.
PSAC-Tourism proposed accelerating public-private partnerships (PPP) for regional airports to drive international demand. This initiative aims to increase international airport connectivity and capacity for a broader range of international airlines and routes.
Recognizing the importance of the hotel industry, PSAC-Tourism suggested offering enhanced incentives to increase the hotel supply to compete with our neighboring countries.
PSAC-Tourism highlighted the importance of having a VAT refund scheme for tourists to attract more tourist arrivals and increase tourism receipts.
These recommendations align with President Marcos's vision for a consolidated and competitive Philippine tourism system. As the nation looks towards the future, PSAC remains committed to working hand-in-hand with the government to implement these visionary initiatives and unlock the full potential of Philippine tourism.