The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Tuesday reported that more than 158 kilometers of roads leading to tourist destinations have been constructed through its partnership with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
In a post-State of the Nation Address briefing on infrastructure development and connectivity, Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco said this initiative along with other government infrastructure projects lined up, implemented and continuing, show how tourism is a priority of the Marcos administration.
“[W]e are very optimistic that in the coming year, investments in tourism roads will continue so that we can continue to expand countrywide development as far as tourism is concerned, so we fulfill the President’s vision that no one is left behind as far as the local government units to benefit from tourism development,” she said.
Frasco also reported that the tourism industry continues to witness “robust” post-pandemic growth.
In 2022, the Philippines exceeded its targets in terms of international arrivals by nearly a million to 2.65 million visitors.
It generated over PHP1.87 trillion in combined spending of international and domestic tourism with over 102 million domestic trips recorded.
“All of this translated to over 5.35 million jobs for Filipinos and if you multiply that by the average number of members per family that’s over 25 million families that have benefited from tourism,” Frasco said.
The DOT’s ongoing partnership with the Department of Transportation is also expected to upgrade and enhance interiors in more airports and seaports in the country, including the Davao International Airport and the Cebu City Port.
Moreover, additional flights in secondary gateways in Clark and Palawan are seen as consultations with stakeholders continue.
“All of these investments that the Marcos administration has made in infrastructure development and connectivity have readily resulted in this growth in the tourism sector that we can only see to grow further as we are very optimistic in not only meeting but also exceeded our targets this year of 4.8 million international arrivals,” Frasco said.
Beyond road links, the agency also focuses its efforts on improving travel experience for tourists by introducing curated tours that foreign travelers can purchase when they land in Manila and by building Filipino-style rest stops in various destinations.
It launched this year the first-ever Hop-On Hop-Off (HOHO) bus tours in the Philippines, starting with the cities of Makati and Manila, which Frasco hopes to bring the country “shoulder-to-shoulder with other major key cities around the world” that offer the same tourism activity.
The DOT also broke ground on 10 tourist rest areas in Ilocos, Baguio, Cebu, Bohol, Samal Island, and Bukidnon.
“[W]e also conducted listening tours across our regions and the demand was clear— we need a convenient place for tourists to stop over from one destination to another, and most importantly, clean and decent public restrooms,” Frasco said. (PNA)