Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Tourism chief sees arrivals exceeding estimate

Wilfredo Rodolfo
Business Mirror

TOURISM Secretary Joseph “Ace” Durano is expecting the uptrend in tourism figures to continue and surpass department estimates of only 2-percent increase in the number of arrivals in 2009.

“If the trend in the first semester would continue and the economy of our major markets, indeed, recover, we should see growth in 2009,” Durano told reporters in Cebu City.

“We were expecting zero to 2-percent growth for 2009 and even thought we will contract.”

The first six months of the year posted a 6-percent growth in terms for foreign tourists’ arrivals compared with the same period in 2008. January to June 2008 figures showed 1.633 million foreign tourist arrivals, 7 percent higher than the year before.

Durano said the country suffered from a dip in arrivals since last year as the global economic slowdown affected its major markets like Korea, Japan, the United States and Europe. He said, however, that emerging markets like China are somehow filling the slack.

The department had earlier aimed at hitting the 5-million mark in foreign-tourist arrivals by 2010.

In 2008 the country first breached the 3-million mark with less than 2-percent growth.

The big news, however, was the 8 million registered consolidated arrivals in the country’s top 15 destinations, an increase of 16 percent.

Domestic tourism also increased by 20 percent, mostly based on the monitoring in the top destinations in the country.

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