The southeastern Asian archipelago state of Philippines has a booming tourism sector. Last year (2007) the number of international visitors reached 3 million. This is a significant growth compared with the previous years. The country tried hard to bring new tourists and it has succeeded. The country’s Department of Tourism has even received congratulations from the United Nations World Tourism Organization for its marketing campaign.
The numbers of tourist arrivals continue to rise. The biggest growth in number of arrivals was recorded from the US and Canada. Russia, with 128 percent increase, was the fastest growing European source market. In Asia, Korea and Japan are Philippines’ most important markets. The tourism industry has earned approximately US$5 million. These earnings are also used to improve the country’s tourism infrastructure to lure even more visitors in future.
As the number of visitors goes up so does the occupancy rate in the local hotels. This has led some hotel developers to set up new facilities here. The developments include additional 20,000 hotel rooms. The province of Cebu should become a destination for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions soon. Big investors like e.g. Singapore’s Banyan Tree want to invest in the country. A known hotel brand is already operating in Philippines; it is the 217-room Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa. Also airports are being improved throughout the country. This development has enabled international flights fly directly to a number of new destinations in the country.
The marketing campaign, however, continues to lure tourists. This year’s plan is to bring in 3.4 million foreign visitors and they are supposed to generate an income of US$5.8 billion. By 2010, the number of tourists should rise to 5 million. The campaign is aimed for example on Scandinavian countries. In past the arrivals from Norway, Sweden and Denmark have risen and Philippines want this trend to continue.