Manila — The Philippines will have a difficult time getting the projected 10 millions tourists it wants each year by 2016 due to bad roads and unexpected setbacks, say industry officials.
The target is double the five million tourists expected this year, and the number of visitors would have to grow by 26 percent per year starting in 2014, said former tourism secretary Narzalina Lim.
The country has only managed an 11 percent growth yearly since 2010, and is now about 16 percent behind its full-year 2013 target, said Lim.
The government’s Tourism Promotions Board chief executive Domingo Enerio agreed it was a tough task, but said, “We still sincerely believe that we can do it.”
The government is hoping seven million jobs will be created by tourism, and that it will contribute 12 percent of economic output, according to reports.
At present, three million people work in the tourism industry and it accounts for seven percent of economic output, said Lim, citing government data.
Philippine Tour Operators Association president Cesar Cruz outlined the main challenges.
“We still have to address the road congestion, or the lack of reliable transportation… in most out-of-town destinations,” he said.
“Security and safety need to be improved… There are so many things that need to be done,” he admitted. Image/lakbaypilipinas.com