The Impact to Philippine Tourism if Tiens Group of Company Spent Their Grand Vacation in the Philippines


So many things have been written about how a Chinese billionaire treated at least 6,400 of his staff to a grand vacation in France and Monaco. It is estimated that this event alone will contribute to the GDP of France by $33 million which is roughly equivalent to P1.4B in terms of Philippine money.  While this is quite smaller when compared with what Pacquiao earned in his latest boxing sage, this amount can do a lot of things for the country.  Many Pinoy netizens were in awe of the billionaire’s generosity and the monstrosity of his spending.  Unfortunately, they failed to relate it to Philippine tourism. 


Image from Associated Press

Yes, indeed there are many significant ideas that you can reflect from this event.  But first let us cite some facts on Philippine tourism for the month of February 2015 (the latest data from tourism.gov.ph). Tourism arrival in February 2015 reached at least 456,000 with an economic contribution of $437M; thus, each tourist spend only less than $1,000 for that matter.  Now, let us compare this with that of Tiens Group of Company data; the estimated economic contribution is $33 Euros; thus, each employee contributed more than $5,000 Euros; take note that Euro has higher exchange rate than US dollars right now. 

As you can see, tourists coming to our country spent only nearly $1,000. This proves once and for all that most foreigners coming to our country are basically backpackers.  Had Tiens Group spent their vacation here, it could have contributed a lot to the economy of local tourist destinations. 

The conclusion here is that it seems that Philippine tourism has some work to do when it comes to inviting tourists here in the country.  At this point, DOT should not ignore quality and instead should target tourists who are willing to spend more than $1,000 or double that amount if we want to earn more from tourism. 

France generates more than 80M tourists per year but that is due to important historical places and of course the branding associated with it like “City of Lovers.” Tourism contributes 7% to the GDP of France.  If we want quantity of visitors like France have, we should have unique destinations for tourists.  Do not limit tourism promotion to sand, sun, and seashore as other Asian countries have better resorts and amenities. 

In addition, Philippines tourism facilities are not friendly to foreigners.  We have heard so many stories how these people who intend to relax in the country but ended up stressed and regretted spending their time here due to the primitive state of facilities and exploitative behaviors of taxi drivers, airport personnel, and among others.  Thus, it is not enough that we promote our destinations around the world but we should also prepare our people on how to satisfy tourists. 

Indeed, the vacation provided by Chairman Li Jinyuan is one memorable event for his employees and will go down in the annals of his company as part of corporate culture history.  Philippines on the other hand have yet to be lured into events like these; staging of Miss Universe can be counted here.  DOT should field people to search for events like this and encourage it to be staged here in the country.  It has been a long time since huge international conventions took place in the country. The last one I can remember happened during the the Ramos administration where international conventions one after another took place not only in Manila but in Cebu and Davao as well.
          
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