Published on : Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Philippines is facing tough competition from the global tourism sector and from the Asean tourism market of 10 member economies. The top Asean countries like Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia have always given Cebu a tough contest but now countries like Vietnam are also leaving Philippines thinking by developing new tourism marketing strategies.
The edge is on labour and attractiveness of a destination that draws maximum tourist to a place. The Asean logged 100 million tourists in 2014 where 55 per cent were from non-Asean countries. However tourism in the Asean countries is expected to scale by 107 million where Philippines are looking at a share of 8.2 million, almost 7.7 per cent share in the flow.
There are some challenges that Cebu is facing, there needs to be more three to four star rating accommodations to address the need of young travellers. More restaurants are needed that have space for 50 to 100 guests per seating. The restaurants should be Halal certified.
The food variety has to be increased to cater to tourists from different regions. The dining places should be accompanied with other attractions like singing and dancing.
Tourists should be given opportunities in indulging in sports like cycling and soft adventure activities. Biking enthusiasts like Swiss, Germans and Italians look for 10 to 12 days biking expeditions. Cebu-Bohol-Siquijor and Negros Oriental trails and the recently introduced Cebu-Bohol-Camiguin route can prove to be engaging for tourists.
The air connectivity needs to be improved to provide access to more cities within the Philippines. Also ships, ro-ro and other modes of transportation can help provide connectivity and prove to be quite interesting to tourists.
Cebu is also offering other tourism attractions like medical tourism, education tourism and MICE tourism.
Philippines received 1.8 million visitors from January to April with an increase of 6.99 percent over the same period in 2014. Australia and the Asia Pacific had 25,138 arrivals; maximum visitors are from Asia, followed by America and Europe.