Tourist numbers rise as the Philippines invests in promotional campaigns

 

With abundant natural beauty and a rich cultural heritage spread across 7000 islands, the Philippines has steadily gained recognition over the years as a competitive tourism destination, despite being located in a region of strong contenders. With the campaign “It’s More Fun in the Philippines!”, launched in 2012, the country has not only experienced a boost in visibility, driven by social media and aggressive international marketing efforts, but has also generated tourism growth substantial enough to push the sector into a more prominent position in the economy.

Profile Raising

The hosting of the 65th Miss Universe pageant in January 2017 set the stage for the Philippines to further raise its profile in the international arena, placing it on track to tackle the large number of global events scheduled to take place in the country that year, including the 31st ASEAN Summit, the sixth UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) International Conference on Tourism Statistics and the third edition of the internationally recognised gastronomy event Madrid Fusion Manila. In addition to events hosting, the Philippines’ beach destinations and water-based activities – its core leisure market attractions – have continued to receive accolades, with the inclusion of three Philippine islands (Palawan, Boracay and Cebu) in New York-based magazine Travel+Leisure’s 2016 survey of the world’s best islands. Palawan reclaimed the number one spot, which it last won in 2013.

Similarly, Condé Nast Traveler voted Boracay as the best island in the world for 2016, making it the third time that a Philippine island has topped that ranking; Palawan was named the world’s best in 2013 and 2015. As Ana Burakovskikh, assistant resort manager from Huma Island Resort, told OBG, “Visiting Palawan can expand one’s understanding of natural beauty. Moreover, it can help broaden cultural awareness of rural parts of the Philippines. It is also a great opportunity to support and research the local craftsmanship and rituals of indigenous peoples of the Philippines.”

According to Grace Karen, undersecretary of finance, who spoke at the ASEAN Finance Ministers’ Investor Seminar in Jakarta in late November 2016, as part of the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) 2016-22 the current administration has allocated a total of $23bn to fund tourism-related infrastructure. The investment will be welcome news for many tourism stakeholders, as infrastructure has been a persistent roadblock to the unlocking of the sector’s potential. Prospective developments, whether in airports, seaports or highways, will facilitate the arrival of tourists, lowering travel costs and improving the ease at which they can reach their final destination.

However, in parallel to infrastructure spending, concerns were raised regarding the decreased budget allocation for the Department of Tourism (DoT) in 2017. A total of P2.5bn ($52.9m) has been earmarked for the DoT in 2017, a steep decline from the P3.6bn ($76.2m) allocated in 2016, and a sum that is dwarfed by the tourism expenditures of China ($292m), South Korea ($25bn), Malaysia ($901m) and Indonesia ($263m) in 2015, according to a 2016 report by the UNWTO.

Performance

The Philippine tourism industry reached a new milestone in 2016, as the country welcomed a total of 5.9m foreign arrivals, almost hitting its 6m target. Throughout the rollout of the NTDP 2011-16, which defined the tourism strategy of the previous administration, the country had mixed results in achieving the goals that it set for itself for the six-year term. Although it was unable to reach the foreign arrival target, domestic tourism figures surged from 30.5m in 2011 to 75.5m in 2016, while the country’s tourism direct gross value added increased by 14.8% between 2014 and 2015 to reach P1.1trn ($23.3bn), according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

During the 2011-15 period the direct contribution of tourism to GDP rose from 6.82% to 8.2%. This was supported by the 2017 annual report from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which estimates that the tourism industry’s direct contribution to GDP, which reflects the direct economic impact of tourist spending in services such as hotels, travel agents and airlines, increased to around P1.19trn ($25.2bn), equivalent to 8.2% of total GDP, in 2016. The WTTC report also forecasts that this contribution will rise by some 7.6% in 2017 and 5.2% annually over the next decade to reach P2.11trn ($44.6bn) by 2027.

The same report found that the direct contribution of tourism to employment in the Philippines amounted to 2.2m jobs, or 5.5% of total employment, in 2016. This is also expected to rise – by 5.3% in 2017 and 2.4% annually over the next decade to reach 2.96m jobs in 2027. In addition, tourism investment reached P89.6bn ($1.9bn) in 2016, equal to 2.6% of total investment during that year, a sum that the report expects to increase by around 9.5% in 2017 before dropping to 4.4% growth over the next 10 years to reach P150.2bn ($3.2bn) by 2027. This means that the share of tourism in total national investment would decline from 2.6% in 2016 to 2.5% over the next decade.

Receipts

In tandem with higher arrivals, both domestic and international, tourism receipts have continued to rise steadily. Between 2010 and 2015 international tourist receipts more than doubled from P112.6bn ($2.4bn) to P227.6bn ($4.8bn), according to the PSA, while in 2016 the number rose only slightly to P230.1bn ($4.9bn). The marginal increase in receipts for 2016 can be attributed to a government travel warning in China against the Philippines, which was implemented in 2014 in connection to the territorial dispute over the West Philippine Sea, also referred to as the South China Sea. The warning had a direct impact on revenues for Philippine air carriers and tourism destinations across the archipelago. The ban was ultimately lifted in October 2016. Nonetheless, at 8.2%, tourism receipts have become an important contributor to the country’s total exports, ranking third among the largest export items in 2015, behind miscellaneous services (29.8%) and semiconductors (22.8%).

While tourism receipts are on an upward trajectory overall, average daily expenditure (ADE) has declined, from P5513 ($116.63) in 2015 to P4402 ($93.12) during the January-November period of 2016, according to DoT data. However, lengthier stays by tourists were also recorded, with the average stay increasing from 8.66 nights in 2015 to 8.68 nights in January-November 2016. The Philippines also saw its highest recorded volume of tourists in a single month in January 2017, as inbound visitors totalled 631,639 – a surge driven largely by Chinese tourists and the Miss Universe competition. Despite reaching a record, the country witnessed a dip in tourism receipts that month, posting P21bn ($444.3m) in comparison to P21.9bn ($463.3m) in January 2016. Likewise, the ADE for the month was P3659 ($77.41), significantly lower than the average for the previous two years. However, the average length of stay of tourists rose to 10.61 nights.

Asean

Foreign tourist arrivals in the Philippines grew by 10.9% in 2015 to reach 5.36m, exceeding the 5m mark for the first time. Despite the upward trajectory, however, the country still trails behind four other major ASEAN economies. Thailand continued to lead the group in terms of year-on-year tourism growth in 2015, posting a 20.4% increase in tourist arrivals over 2014, at 29.9m. Just behind Thailand was Malaysia, which despite a 6.2% decline, saw 25.7m arrivals. Singapore, meanwhile, welcomed 15.2m overseas visitors in 2015 – a 1% increase over the previous year – and arrivals to Indonesia increased by 0.9% to 7.9m.

Whereas intraregional travel constituted a significant source of foreign arrivals for Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand in 2015, the Philippine market mix includes larger numbers of visitors from South Korea, Japan and China. ASEAN tourists accounted for just 7.9% of total arrivals in the Philippines in November 2016, with the majority coming from Singapore (161,194), Malaysia (128,077) and Thailand (44,372). As part of the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan 2016-25, which aims to increase tourism among member states, the DoT is making efforts to attract more arrivals from the region. Speaking to the press at the ASEAN Tourism Forum in Singapore in January 2017, Wanda Corazon Teo, secretary of tourism for the Philippines, said that the DoT’s strategy includes pursuing intensive promotional activities in Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, and emphasising its unique offerings, such as Entertainment City in Manila, and cultural and historical destinations in the Visayas Region.

The Philippines, alongside its neighbour Indonesia, is heavily dependent on air traffic connectivity, with 99% of tourist arrivals to the archipelago arriving via air. Despite persistent challenges regarding capacity at the Philippines’ primary and secondary gateways, the ASEAN Multilateral Agreement in Air Services, signed by then-president Benigno Aquino III in early 2016, is expected to capture a bigger slice of the regional market for the two island nations, as the agreement, which fully liberalises air services in ASEAN, will open up more remote travel destinations to regional budget carriers.

Source Markets

South Korea consolidated its position as the Philippines’ number one source of arrivals in 2016, becoming the first market to surpass 1.4m visitors. South Koreans composed almost 24.72% of total arrivals and registered growth of 10.11% in that year. The US retained its position as the second-largest market, with 869,463 arrivals – 14.57% of the total – and showed an increase of 11.58% for the year. The Chinese market rose to third, accounting for 11.32% of all arrivals, at 675,663, and displaying significant growth of 37.65% from 2015. Japan finished fourth, with 535,238 arrivals, comprising 8.97% of total inbound traffic. Rounding out the top-10 inbound markets in 2016 were Australia, with 251,098 arrivals, Taiwan (229,303), Singapore (176,057), Canada (175,631), the UK (173,299) and Malaysia (139,133). Among the top-10 markets, China posted the highest growth in 2016, followed by Taiwan, which saw an increase of 29.06%.

Hotels

While the Philippines is focused on attracting foreign arrivals, interest from real estate developers and investors for new hotels and leisure infrastructure projects is low, as they look instead to boosting business from the local market. Domestic tourist numbers reached 70.5m in 2016, a figure that is expected to increase to 89m by 2022 under the NDTP. “Tourism is thriving in the Philippines, fuelling increased construction activity and expansion of room capacity,” Wilbert Lee, president and CEO of Philippine Primark Properties, told OBG. “However, there are still a number of challenges to attracting higher numbers of foreign tourists. In the provinces, the tourism growth is largely generated by local tourists,” he added.

Anticipating the future growth prospects of the industry, leisure infrastructure, entertainment facilities and hotel rooms are being built in Metro Manila and throughout the archipelago to capture the influx of local and international tourists. More than 1700 rooms were completed in the capital during 2016 on top of roughly 1739 new rooms the year before, according to a fourth quarter hotel report produced by property consultant Colliers International.

The upswing in room capacity has also been meet with higher occupancy rates. Colliers reported that in 2016 hotel occupancy in Metro Manila increased to 71%, up two percentage points from the second quarter. In turn, hotel rates have also increased. Five-star room rates in Metro Manila were up 3% in the second half of the year to reach $370 a night. Similarly, rates for three- and four-star rooms rose during the period, by 9% and 5% to reach $186 and $247 per night, respectively. Colliers attributed faster growth in the three- to four-star hotel segment to increased demand from both overseas and local travellers. The property consultancy projects 4000 new hotel rooms will be completed in the city in 2017, with the majority concentrated in the Entertainment City complex. Hotel occupancy is expected to hover between 65% to 70% throughout the year, with hotel rates increasing by a more moderate 2-5%, given the surge in new supply.

Driving Supply

The major additions to the Metro Manila skyline driving room expansion in 2016 were the 347-room Conrad Manila, developed by SM Group and managed by Hilton Worldwide, and the 576-room Shangri-La Asia’s hotel at Fort Manila. Hotel supply expansion is set to continue into 2017. Notable projects inside and outside Manila that are scheduled to open their doors include the 438-room Grand Hyatt in Bonifacio Global City and four new hotels developed by Megaworld, the country’s largest hotel operator. Megaworld will add 1662 rooms to its expanding portfolio through the opening of the 559-room Savoy Hotel Boracay and the 326-room Marriott Courtyard Hotel in the first half of the year, followed by the 684-room Savoy Newport Hotel and the 93-room Hotel Lucky Chinatown in the second half. Ayala Land, meanwhile, is aiming to expand the footprint of its Seda brand nationally, through a P15bn ($317.3m) investment in 2017-19, adding 2464 rooms to its portfolio.

The bulk of new room capacity in Metro Manila stems from Entertainment City, a gaming and entertainment complex built on 100 ha of reclaimed land along Manila Bay. The resorts that are part of the complex are operated by the winners of four, 30-year licences awarded by the government’s gaming regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation. The first to operate from Entertainment City was Solaire Resort & Casino, which opened its doors in 2014 and currently has an 800-room capacity at its Bay and Sky Towers; the second, City of Dreams Manila, a joint venture between Hong Kong’s Melco Crown Resorts and local SM Group’s Belle Corporation, added 940 rooms across three hotel brands – Nobu Hotel, Crown Towers and Hyatt Hotel – in 2015. In 2017 Okada Manila, the third integrated hotel and casino to start operations, plans to add 993 rooms to its property.

In addition to the large-scale resorts at Entertainment City, Resorts World Manila, located opposite to Manila’s airport in Newport City, is adding 939 rooms through the Maxims hotel extension and the construction of two additional hotel brands, namely the Sheraton Manila Hotel and Hilton Manila, to be partially operational by end of 2017 and fully completed by 2018.

Mice

Infrastructure like the Philippine International Convention Centre, a 70,000-sq-metre event arena built in 1976 in Manila, established the Philippines as a regional leader for international events and conferences in the 1980s. However, this status was somewhat eroded in subsequent decades, as neighbouring countries’ expenditure on infrastructure and promotion of meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) caught up to or surpassed that of the Philippines. The country placed 49th in the 2015 country and city rankings published by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), one spot higher than its 2014 ranking, having hosted 57 international association meetings during that year.

Based on data from the Tourism Promotion Board (TPB), the government agency in charge of MICE development, the Philippines booked 145 events assisted by the MICE Department in 2015, a number that increased to 146 in 2016, and which the TPB projects will reach 170 in 2017. In line with efforts by the DoT to prioritise tourism receipts over arrival numbers, the MICE market is being groomed as a major tourism product. Based on an ICCA study on participant spending, the average daily expenditure of MICE is $370 per day per participant, making it a lucrative market with a higher return on investment than the leisure segment.

Landmark Events

The Philippines had significant success in 2015 on the MICE front with the APEC Summit, an event the country last hosted in 2006. The summit comprised 228 meetings dispersed throughout the archipelago. The capacity required to host an event of this magnitude gave the Philippines much-needed exposure on the international stage and challenged stakeholders to upgrade facilities in anticipation of other large-scale international events in the future. For example, the 11,832-sq-metre Iloilo Convention Centre was finished in September 2015, ahead of the APEC ministerial meetings, a major boost for the city’s MICE ambitions. The centre also added to the tourism visibility of the Western Visayas Region, which has been growing due to its rich historic and religious heritage.

However, another major MICE destination, the province-owned Cebu International Convention Centre (CICC) in Mandaue City, which has a 1500-person capacity, has ceased operations following damage sustained during the 2013 earthquake. Nonetheless, private sector players have been providing necessary infrastructure support to sustain MICE events. For example, the Cebu-based company Gaisano Capital has completed the Mactan Island Convention Centre, which has the same capacity as the CICC, while the SM Group, which owns the SMX Convention Centre in Metro Manila, has positioned itself as the country’s largest privately owned meetings and convention facilities operator, having expanded its portfolio to seven properties in Manila, Davao, Bacolod and Cebu, with three more venues due to open by 2019.

Meetings and conventions activity is still concentrated in major cities like Manila, followed by Cebu and Davao, primarily because they have the available infrastructure, whereas destinations like Boracay or Bohol have become increasingly popular for the incentives market. Likewise, areas like the Clark Freeport Zone, which boasts the only five-star luxury hotel in Central Luzon, the Midori Hotel, along with other venues, is positioning itself to participate in the industry, in particular because it can capitalise on the connectivity provided by Clark International Airport.

Although private sector investment has been consistent, the country still needs to add further capacity for hosting higher-impact events, as it currently only has 90,000 sq metres of space for MICE, which is small when compared to the 340,000 sq metres on offer in Singapore, according to the DoT.

Perception

Whereas the tenure of former President Aquino was not without its high-profile incidents, including the Manila hostage crisis in 2010 and the Zamboanga siege in 2013, issues surrounding safety and security have been brought into sharper focus since the election of President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016. The “Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2015” produced by the World Economic Forum ranked the Philippines 128th out of 141 countries for safety and security, a sharp decline from 103rd in 2013. The country achieved its lowest score across all indicators for safety and security in both reports.

Delivering on a campaign promise, Duterte has escalated his controversial war on drugs after taking office, incurring extensive local and global media coverage and sparking concern in the international community. Additionally, incidents like the Davao City bombing in September 2016 and the October 2016 abduction of a South Korean national by members of the Philippine National Police have triggered travel warnings by several countries that are likely to take a toll on tourism. In spite of these concerns, however, following Duterte’s state visit to China in October 2016, China lifted its travel advisory cautioning its citizens against travel to the Philippines. This was a substantial boost to Philippine tourism, as China is the world’s largest outbound tourist market.

Inclusive Tourism

The vision for the development of the tourism industry under the NTDP 2016-22 involves pursuing two strategic aims: improving competitiveness and enhancing growth; and ensuring sustainable and inclusive growth. Both aims are closely related. “Although there have been a lot of foreign brands and large domestic players going into tourism infrastructure, there needs to be more support for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), which have pioneered the industry,” Rosanna Tuason-Fores, president of Hijo Resources and the Tourism Congress of the Philippines, told OBG. “Large investments and international brands bring critical mass to the industry; however, incentives and proper assistance should be extended to MSME players in order for them to effectively compete.” To support the development of MSMEs in the sector, the DoT aims to set up an institute of tourism competitiveness to provide assistance to qualified travel and tourism entrepreneurs in a range of areas, including providing access to capital and markets, and building technical and managerial skills. In 2010 some 12.5% of MSMEs were estimated to operate in the hotel and restaurant sector, according to the DoT, which translates to 96,900 enterprises out of a total of 774,000 MSMEs in the country.

Retirement Industry

Taking advantage of its proximity to developed economies with ageing populations, which face increasingly prohibitive costs of living and unappealing weather conditions, the Philippines is in the process of raising its reputation as an attractive retirement haven. The distinct advantages of the Philippines are many: it has one of the most liberalised retirement regimes in all of Asia, which allows people to apply for its Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV) from the age of 35, unlike neighbouring countries Thailand and Malaysia, which impose a minimum age of 50. It also allows foreign nationals and former Filipino citizens to be economically self-sufficient, given that they are allowed to work and invest, and can take advantage of low foreign exchange rates.

The reputation of the Philippines as a retirement destination has grown substantially over the years. The nation was named the 19th best place to retire in the 2017 Annual Global Retirement Index by International Living and appeared in Forbes’ 20 Best Foreign Retirement Havens 2015 rankings, which recommended Tagaytay and Subic in particular.

According to the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA), the age flexibility of the country’s retirement regime has generated particular growth in the still-active 40- to 49-year-old bracket, which comprised a third of all enrollees in the past four years. The country is now positioning itself to capitalise on the expanding grey market in the region. In Japan, for example, 27.3% of the population is aged 65 or over, according to a survey by Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications carried out 2016, while 13.1% of South Korea’s 50.6m-strong population was classified as senior in 2015, according to data from Statistics Korea.

Visa Types

The PRA is the government agency tasked with developing and promoting the retirement industry, a process that has been accelerated by their issuance of the SRRV, a special non-immigrant visa with multiple-entry and indefinite-stay privileges. There are four SRRV types, which differ in terms of requirement and benefits, based on the size of deposits required to obtain them. While the deposits range from $1500 to $50,000, many benefits apply to all SRRV brackets, including exemption from travel tax, a student visa for a dependent child and tax exemptions for the importation of personal effects up to $7000.

As a testament to the rapid proliferation of retirees throughout the country, the PRA has expanded its satellite office presence to Subic, Clark, Baguio, Davao and Cebu, while eyeing further expansion to Caticlan, Palawan and Laoag. The region of Cordillera, and in particular Baguio City, has exhibited consistent growth in attracting foreign retirees, with the PRA recoding more than 4000 enrollees living in the area.

While a lack of infrastructure, such as health care facilities or leisure amenities, have been a persistent challenge to expanding retiree numbers, local and foreign investors alike have become increasingly involved in fast-tracking necessary infrastructure, as evidenced by projects such as the 32-ha Amonsagana Retirement Village in Balamban, Cebu – a major retiree destination, launched by Singapore-based property developer Syn-tech Properties in 2015.

As of October 2016 the PRA had enrolled 47,607 retirees, 35.96% of whom were Chinese nationals. Other large groups were South Korea (20.93%), Taiwan (8.83%), India (7.68%), Japan (7.12%) and the US (4.68%). While analysts expect the number of Chinese retirees to multiply further, a lack of portability of health insurance remains the biggest inhibitor to capturing a bigger proportion of the US market.

Tourism Zones

Investment promotion agencies (IPAs) have been integral to attracting foreign direct investment into the country, with agencies like the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) responsible for 31.8% of all investment pledges in 2016. One of these IPAs, the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), was formed as part of the Tourism Act of 2009, with the core mandate of designating, establishing and supervising tourism enterprise zones (TEZs) throughout the country. The fulfilment of this mandate, however, has been somewhat stunted since the agency’s inception due to a delay in the issuance of the necessary revenue regulations by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), which impeded the agency’s awarding of fiscal incentives to investors. On November 2016 the BIR released the rules for granting tax concessions to investors in TEZs. Fiscal incentives available in TEZs include a six-year tax holiday, 5% gross income tax, net operating loss carryover, tax- and duty-free importation of capital and equipment, and a tax reduction equivalent to 50% of the costs of social responsibility programmes. In addition, non-fiscal perks include employment of foreign nationals, special visa benefits for investors and the lease of land by foreign nationals. These would enable TIEZA to accelerate the creation of TEZs in order to expand destination options for foreign and local travellers, and generate economic benefits for locals in new tourist spots.

Requirements

For a geographical area to be designated as a TEZ it must be defined as one contiguous territory, and be measured for its historical, cultural or environmental significance, and potential socio-economic impact on its host community. Unlike PEZA, which cannot register tourism enterprises in areas like Metro Manila, Boracay, Palawan, Cebu or Bohol, TIEZA is not restricted by geographical limitations for incentives. TEZs are divided in two types: private projects, which are evaluated and approved by TIEZA, and require a minimum of 5 ha of land and $5m worth of investment; and flagship projects, which are undertaken by TIEZA after it identifies an area with viable tourism potential, suitable for the accommodation of tourism-oriented businesses. In both cases, projects are intended to serve as integrated tourism establishments, catering to niche markets, including cultural heritage, ecotourism, or health and wellness. TIEZA is in charge of identifying and establishing support infrastructure and public utilities to attract investors to the TEZ, who participate under a public-private partnership, joint venture or build-operate-transfer arrangement.

Flagship Projects

Despite a substantial rise in tourism-related projects, the registration of TEZs was limited prior to the issuance of the BIR regulations. In spite of this, several high-profile TEZs have been established, including Resorts World Manila, an 11-ha integrated resort complex that is undergoing significant expansion; Ciudad de Victoria, a 60-ha events complex in Bulacan, which already has the distinction of housing the Philippine Arena – the world’s largest indoor arena – and is eyeing the construction of hotels, health and wellness centres, and sports stadiums on the property; Hijo Plantation, a 350-ha property, which is expected to become an ecotourism and resort complex; Kingdom Global City, a 26-ha property adjacent to the airport in Davao City, which is planning to build an integrated resort; Queen’s Castle, a 70-ha golf course in Cebu; and Bravo Gulf, a 19-ha hotel and golf course in Negros Oriental. The number of TEZs is expected to grow in line with the IPAs, as private sector appetite for investments in tourism seeks to avail of existing perks.

Two flagship TEZ projects are in the pipeline, which promise to be a boon for the tourism industry upon their completion. The first, a new development located on 833 ha of land in Palawan, boasts a 14-km coastline, three times longer than that of the prime beach destination, Boracay, and is easily accessible thanks to the construction of a new airport nearby. The other major project involves the redevelopment of the historical Rizal Park Complex in Manila. The project aims to boost the area’s cultural heritage, expand its green areas and establish a port facility to support the country’s development of cruise tourism (see analysis).

Outlook

The Philippines’ tourism sector is widely seen as low-hanging fruit in terms of its growth potential, although authorities are still working to fully unlock it. The previous administration sought to accelerate tourism development through a successful marketing campaign, the creation of more domestic tourism sites and strengthening the country’s reputation as an investment destination. However, these efforts yielded mixed results. While domestic tourism far exceeded its growth expectations, foreign arrival numbers fell short.

Under the new government, tourism has been highlighted as a major catalyst for employment generation and rural development, with a focus placed on developing a globally competitive and socially responsible industry. The diversification of the tourism product portfolio is a particular priority, to be achieved through the development of nature and culture-based offerings that exhibit the highest potential for community participation. In addition, the expansion of strategic products like MICE and the entertainment industries, both of which are poised to expand in Manila and other urban centres, will advance in the coming years, presenting plenty of opportunities for private participation.

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The Report: The Philippines 2017

Tourism chapter from The Report: The Philippines 2017

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