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Philippines aims to attract more foreign tourists

Philippines targets tourists from Russia, India

Apr 28, 2011

The Tourism Department will pursue aggressive campaigns to attract more foreign tourists, especially those from Korea, China and Japan and emerging markets like Russia and India.

Secretary Alberto Lim said during a press briefing Tuesday that the department was looking to surpass the number of foreign tourists it posted in 2010. Tourist arrivals in the first two months of the year grew 18 percent year-on-year to 670,000, data show.

‚ÄúTourism revenues accounted for 6 percent of the country‚Äôs gross domestic product for 2010. The government‚Äôs pursuit of an open civil aviation industry signals that the Philippines is open for business,‚ÄĚ Lim said, adding that the 20 million local travels recorded last year could be sustained until 2016.

He said the start of a direct flight to New Delhi by Philippine Airlines would boost tourism, with India now considered one of the emerging markets.

The department has signed an agreement with the Philippine Retailers Association and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry to conduct free training of retailers in the country’s tourist hotspots on how to sell local products to foreign tourists.

‚ÄúTourism greatly helped the retail industry last year as spending went up due to the increased visitor turnout. And with this micro-tourism enterprise project in full swing, we do hope we can exceed expectations this year,‚ÄĚ Lim said.

Samie Lim, PCCI vice president for tourism, said tourism boosted the retail industry. Tourism said 27 percent of tourist’s spending in 2010 went to shopping. The retail industry, meanwhile, grew 12 percent last year after expanding 5.5 percent in 2009.

Philippines targets tourists from Russia, India
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