MANILA, Philippines — There has been a marked improvement in domestic tourism, mainly due to the efforts of municipalities in promoting their tourist destinations.
League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) National President and Bacoor Mayor Strike Revilla cited statistics from the Department of Tourism (DoT) showing a 12.28 percent increase in domestic tourism, to 16.56 million in 2010.
“Local leaders in the municipalities are one with the vision of the LMP in increased tourism,” he said, as he lauded municipalities for intensively promoting the best spots for tourists, both local and foreign.
Revilla said “increased tourism means increased spending. Thus increased income in the municipality and of course increasing the economy of the municipality. It goes hand in hand.”
Aside from the efforts made by the municipalities, Strike also lauded airline companies who through their promo fares are making it possible for every Filipino to fly and visit tourism spots in the country.
Revilla said that while the country’s national flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) recorded a 12.16 percent drop in domestic flight passengers, from 6.05 million in 2009 to 5.31 million last year, the passenger volum of its budget carrier, Air Philippines, grew more than fourfold, to 1.85 million from 408,863.
Zest Airways posted a 40.98 percent growth in domestic flight passengers from 872,223 to 1.23 million.
Cebu Pacific Air had a 10.21 percent increase, from 7.23 million to 7.97 million passengers.
Domestic flight passengers of South East Asian Airlines inched up 4.91 percent, from 184,145 to 193,183.
“Travel and tourism in the Philippines really performed better in 2010 as the global economic recovery had a positive effect over the economies of many countries,” Revilla said. “This led to higher growth in in-bound arrivals and domestic tourism as well as healthy development in outbound tourism, leading to higher value sales growth for the majority of travel and tourism categories, including transportation, travel accommodation, travel retail, car rental, health and wellness tourism and tourist attractions.”
“The high level of promotional activity undertaken by the various municipalities, with the help of the Department of Tourism (DoT) and the private sector both inside and outside the Philippines, also helped to boost travel and tourism in the country,” he added.