Tourism seen incentivizing good governance CL-wide
The physical and socioeconomic benefits of tourism will form part of the exhibits of Central Luzon (CL) at the North Philippines (NorthPhil) Tourism and Travel Expo slated at SM City Clark on November 16 to 18.
The exhibits will highlight tourism worthiness as the ultimate manifestation of good governance, which all the local government units (LGUs) in NorthPhil can aspire for, according to the Association of Tour Officers of Central Luzon (Atocel), which is anticipating the rise of new Clark and Subic cities on the tide of massive infrastructure development under the government’s ongoing Build, Build, Build program alongside private investments.
Atocel president Michael Palispis said local government units (LGUs) in Central Luzon would have to level up to keep astride with and cash in on the benefits of such developments.
“Tourism worthiness encompasses, not just infrastructure and tourist attractions, but also all the qualities of good governance that includes safety and security, economic productivity, cultural values, social behavior and attitudes, a healthy business and natural environment, a well-educated populace, transport and telecommunications connectivity, and many other factors that define a CL visitor’s experience,” Palispis explained.
“The goal for the LGUs in Central Luzon and the rest of NorthPhil is to attain a level of certainty that they won’t miss out on the benefits and opportunities from tourism, whose uptrend is projected to continue despite all the fuel price hikes,” Palispis added.
Constituting Central Luzon are the provinces of Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales, with an aggregate 2017 tourist volume of 3.42 million comprising 2.91 million domestic, 481,436 foreign, and 14,254 overseas Filipino workers, according to the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Inc.
The inbound tourist volume in Central Luzon, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), grew by 9.3 percent in 2017 when tourism industries contributed 12.2 percent to the economy from 8.6 percent in 2016 as measured by the share of Tourism Direct Gross Value Added (TDGVA) in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“The TDGVA amounted to P1,929.3 billion (P1.93 trillion) at current prices in 2017. This is higher by 24.2 percent than the previous year’s record of P1,553.7 billion (P1.55 trillion),” the PSA report stated, also citing the rise of inbound tourist spend by 43.9 percent in 2017.
Likewise on the upsurge was domestic tourist spend, which grew by 25.5 percent to P2,644.8 billion (or P2.645 trillion) in 2017 from P2,108.2 billion (or P2.1 trillion) in 2016.
Share of tourism in total national employment in 2017 was placed by the PSA at 13.1 percent.
On the other hand, total contribution to GDP is projected by the World Travel and Tourism Council to rise by 5.3 percent yearly to USD108.2 billion (P5,134.2 billion or P5.134 trillion) at 20.7 percent of the GDP in 2027.
“Thus, our LGUs shouldn’t miss out on that golden opportunity from tourism, which we strive to showcase at the NorthPhil Expo in Clark,” Palispis said of Central Luzon’s unique exhibits.
Central Luzon covers the region at the immediate north of Metro Manila and spans the full breadth of this part of the archipelago from the coastal provinces of Pangasinan, Zambales and Bataan at the West Philippine Sea to Aurora Province at the Pacific Ocean
The Central Luzon exhibits are among those displayed in 104 booths featuring all tourism sectors in North Philippines and other parts of the archipelago, including Asia.
Co-organized by the Association of Tourism Officers of Central Luzon (ATOCEL) and managed by the Philippine Exhibits and Trade Corp. (email: email@example.com, and website www.northphilexpo.com), the expo is supported by the Department of Tourism, the Angeles City government, the provinces of Aurora, Bataan, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Zambales, Clark Development Corp., Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority, and Cebu Pacific Air as sponsors. (Press Release)