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Tourism industry in PH shares optimistic outlook, growth in investment 

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By Marinel E. Peroy 

Bouncing back from the brunt of the pandemic, the Philippines welcomes the upward trajectory it experiences as the fastest-growing economy in Southeast Asia.

Brandishing the GDP growth of 5.6% last year and bullish outlook of 6.2% projected growth in 2024, these indications Spearheaded by the Philippine Hotel Owners Association, Inc. (PHOA), the 1st Philippine Tourism and Hotel Investment Summit hosted an event discussing trends, opportunities, challenges, and strategies for 2024 in both sectors. 

In cooperation with Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), the event was held at the New World Hotel Makati which gathered various experts, industry leaders, and investors from government, private, and other stakeholders last June 21. 

According to UN Tourism, the country holds a strong position as a premier destination of tourism investments with its positive economic growth and stability, growing investment destination, government initiatives and incentives, and attracting significant foreign direct investment in the tourism sector. 

Moreover, the presentation of Peter Janech, Coordinator of Innovation, Education, and Investments of United Nations Tourism — Insights into the Global & Regional Tourism Investments — believes that the Philippines has its competitive advantage in safety, price competitiveness, and environmental sustainability on the Travel and Tourism Development Index – Asia and the Pacific (World Economic Forum 2024), respectively. 

The Philippines’ commitment to developments in sustainable tourism development, hotel, and hospitality infrastructure, and post-pandemic strategies for the hospitality sector are some of the efforts that make the country a ‘leading and resilient destination’ for international tourists and investors. According to the UN Tourism data, there were 5 million international tourist arrivals to the Philippines in 2023. The country also met a completion of 3,900 new hotel rooms in 2023, a record-high for the industry. 

Meanwhile, the Department of Tourism shared that ₱509 billion in total tourism investment in 2023, with a growth rate of 11.7% to the entire Philippine economy from the previous year.

To make the Philippines a tourism powerhouse in Asia, a national tourism development plan 2023-2028 was established with the following objectives: a) improve tourism infrastructure and accessibility; b) cohesive and comprehensive digitalization and connectivity; c) enhancement of overall tourist experience; d) equalization of tourism product development and promotion; e) diversification of portfolio through multidimensional tourism; f) maximization of domestic and international tourism; and g) strengthening tourism governance through close collaborations with national and local stakeholders. 

DEVELOPERS’ OUTLOOK FOR HOTEL INVESTMENTS IN THE PHILIPPINES with Moderator, David Celdran of ABS-CBN News Channel, George Aquino, President & CEO, AyalaLand Hotels and Resorts Corporation, Francis Gotianun, Senior Vice President, Filinvest Hospitality Corporation, Cleofe Albiso, Managing Director, Megaworld Hotels and Resorts, Barun Jolly, Senior Vice President, Robinsons Land Corporation and Business Unit General Manager, Robinsons Hotels and Resorts, Atty. Karen Mae Sarinas-Baydo, Assistant Chief Operating Officer, Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority.

Aside from revitalizing tourist arrivals to make the country a tourism investment destination, the hotel industry is expected to fully recover by 2025, as stated in the forecast of real estate brokerage company, Leechiu Property Consultants, Inc. (LPC) with PHOA.

It is interesting to note that based on the information provided by the Philippine Investment Outlook Survey (PIOS) report from March to April 2024, there is a robust responders’ confidence of 89% for a positive outlook in the hospitality industry over the medium term. The report also revealed that the Highest Investment Interest in the following locations in the Philippines: Bohol, Metro Manila, Cebu City, Siargao, and El Nido. For the investors, their top three (3) key priorities in post-pandemic financial strategy are cash flow management, stakeholder relationships, and sustainability. 

In conclusion, the report emphasized the crucial collaboration between the government and the private sector to sustain the momentum of mutually beneficial relationships and ensure success in the industry’s ever-changing demands.

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