Philippines' 2012 domestic tourism growth exceeds 2016 target

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - Tourism growth, led by a better-than-expected increase in domestic travel, is set to contribute more to overall economic expansion this year, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. said at the Philippine Economic Briefing on Wednesday.

Jimenez said tourism accounted for about 7 percent of the total economy in 2012. With anticipated increases in domestic tourists as well as incoming foreign tourists, the sector is expected to account for 11 percent of the economy by 2016.

More importantly, Jimenez said, tourism could account for 18 to 20 percent of employment nationwide by the end of President Aquino's term.

Locally, Jimenez said the Philippines has surpassed its target of 35.5 million passengers by 2016. "We already had 37.5 million domestic trips in 2012," he said.

Given the record last year, he said President Aquino has approved a new target of 44 million domestic trips by 2016.

The challenge, according to Jimenez, was to build the right infrastructure to accommodate tourism growth. He said that the tourism sector expected about 7,000 new rooms to be built from this year to 2014.

However, even at this pace, Jimenez said there would still be a gap of more than 20,000 rooms by 2016.

On the other requirements, he said there was a "devoted budget annually for tourism roads and infrastructure, a program we have with DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways)."

Tourism is one of the growth drivers identified by the Aquino administration as a job generator that could make growth inclusive by spreading income opportunities to the countryside.

  • The Lotus breadvan: Flickr photo of the day 13 hours ago
    The Lotus breadvan: Flickr photo of the day

    The Lotus Europa was one of the stranger sports cars of the '70s, but still managed to corner like a sheepdog thanks to its low weight and fiberglass body. This example caught by Dave Lindsay is fairly typical of the nicer early '70s Type 62 Europas Lotus exported to the United States; by today's standards they're odd, underpowered and unreliable — which means they have a fervent fan base.

  • Inside MotoGP, elbow on asphalt at 210 mph 14 hours ago
    Inside MotoGP, elbow on asphalt at 210 mph

    In MotoGP, a most strange sport, compact, highly fit men, most of them Spanish, Italian, Japanese, or Australian, maneuver 350-lb., multimillion-dollar motorcycles around Formula One tracks at 220 mph while wearing computerized suits that inflate when they fall off at speed. It feels as though you’re watching Tron live, and the crashes are just as spectacular. Driving these things requires a lot of nerve, as well as generous levels of Euro-style machismo. The riders of MotoGP can’t walk down the street in Barcelona or Milan without being followed by screaming fans. They’re like some sort of unholy marriage between Daft Punk and Apollo astronauts. In the United States, they’re just guys walking down the street.

  • Ken Block plays soccer in his 650-hp rally car, because "Footkhana" 16 hours ago
    Ken Block plays soccer in his 650-hp rally car, because "Footkhana"

    We've seen Ken Block slide his 650 hp Ford Fiesta rally car through the streets of San Fransisco and, more recently, around Miley Cirus' wrecking ball. But how he is he at playing soccer while doing these things? It turns out, quite good. Welcome to the world of Footkhana, where Ken Block faces his toughest challenge yet — defeat Neymar, Jr., a Brazilian soccer football star, in a head-to-head battle of fancy footwork.

  • First sign of S.Korea ferry disaster was call from a frightened boy
    First sign of S.Korea ferry disaster was call from a frightened boy

    He called the emergency 119 number which put him through to the fire service, which in turn forwarded him to the coastguard two minutes later. That was followed by about 20 other calls from children on board the ship to the emergency number, a fire service officer told Reuters.

  • Fresh wave of Hello Kitty mania to descend on McDonald’s outlets in Singapore
    Fresh wave of Hello Kitty mania to descend on McDonald’s outlets in Singapore

    It may not be safe to enter a McDonald’s restaurant in Singapore on Mondays starting 28 April. To celebrate the iconic Japanese character Hello Kitty’s 40th anniversary, the fast food chain announced last Friday that it would be releasing a new collection of Hello Kitty toys in McDonald’s restaurants island wide next Monday.

  • Pirates kidnap three on Singapore tanker off Malaysia
    Pirates kidnap three on Singapore tanker off Malaysia

    Armed pirates boarded a Singapore-managed oil tanker in the Strait of Malacca, kidnapping three Indonesian crew and stealing some of the vessel's shipment of diesel fuel, the International Maritime Bureau said Wednesday. The attack occurred early Tuesday off Malaysia's west coast, said Noel Choong, head of IMB's Kuala Lumpur-based piracy reporting centre. The diesel oil tanker was believed to be en route to Myanmar. "IMB is aware of the attack on the Singapore-managed ship in the Malacca Straits.