Friday, 18 June 2010

USAID-funded survey affirms gains of PGMA’s tourism strategy

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s tourism development programs in her nine-year term have brought about P62-billion worth of investments into the country and generated three million jobs for Filipinos.

This is the conclusion of an independent study conducted by the Philippine-based Center for Research and Communication (CRC) and funded by the Asia Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

In a presentation during the Retrospective Seminar of the Department of Tourism (DOT) held today in Intramuros, CRC representative Cherry Rodolfo said that from 2000 to 2009, the tourism industry generated some P62-billion worth of investments from enterprises registered with the National Economic Development Agency (NEDA) and Board of investments (BOI).

Rodolfo cited a DOT survey that in May this year alone, the Central Philippines Super Region, one of the five themed growth corridors mapped out in President Arroyo’s 2004 strategic development program, has generated 28,629 employment from 2002 establishments.

“With a lot of activity going on, Central Philippines will have another 147 new establishments plus additional room expansion by existing establishments that will generate 14,376 new employment,” the CRC official added.

She said these achievements in tourism have made a significant impact on local area development in creating more jobs, generating more income and strengthening community partnerships.

The CRC credited these accomplishments to the various tourism investments that the Arroyo administration has made to provide greater mobility and accessibility.

Rodolfo cited Arroyo’s airport development projects, the nautical highway project (RoRo project) and road networks, such as NLEX and SLEX, as among the infrastructure projects that contributed in no small amount to stimulating domestic tourism.

She also noted an improvement in inbound tourism, citing the 311.84 percent growth in flight arrivals in Clark Airport, from 27,452 international flights in 2000 to 106,016 flight in 2008.

The DOT Retrospective Seminar was attended by DOT officials led by Tourism Secretary Ace Durano and representatives of The Asia Foundation, and USAID.

In his speech, Durano cited the important role of private sector in tourism development, saying their aggressive marketing strategies and constructive feedback on tourism have helped place the country among the major tourist destinations in Asia. (PND)

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