With the current travel warnings enforce as well as a bloody hostage crisis which resulted in the death of eight Chinese tourists from Hong Kong there was expectations that figures would have been badly affected.
But the number of foreign arrivals reached 2.56m as of November 8th which is up 17% on the same period last year.
Now there is people patting themselves on the back about how their efforts of promoting the Philippines are working but lets be honest here if you go to the UK or U.S. in fact any European country and ask them about the Philippines the majority of people only know the country for its nurses and OFW’s not actually what is here!
What is really driving the tourism sector probably isn’t even tourism its retirements as the figures released do not stipulate “long-term or short-term” guests because that would give a true figure of who is here for what. Because personally I think what has happened is people like me have sat out the recession knowing its only going to get worse in the West for the forseable future and it has nothing to do with tourism whatsoever its being practical. As my lodger said to me “If i am going to be poor might as well be poor in the Philippines where at least its sunny”. I think that pretty much sums it up as many people here are living hand to mouth but would rather die here than head West.
The hostage crisis in Manila was an embarrasment for the country at the same time China threw its dummy out of its pram over it the fiasco yet I doubt the affects where anywhere near as they tried to make out because lets face it China does a lot worse to its own. Everything from illegal mines being mined by kidnapped people to putting melamine in Baby milk. It’s one country that really can’t take the moral high ground as it doesn’t have any.
The alert warnings raised by several nations about an imminent attack in the Philippines is also nothing new if anyone read the reports from the embassy’s before the release of the current one it was already a heightened alert for safety.
So what improved tourism ? I think the economic downturn worldwide has more to do with it than anything the government has done because lets face it I have never seen any tourism videos or even a holiday brochure for the Philippines in the UK. The big tour operators don’t come here I looked in 2007 before I came myself for the first time. Nothing has been done to improve security or change corruption at least not short term. So only thing it can be down to is people wanting to save money living here.
The immigration bureau said its records showed that Americans were the top foreign nationals coming to the country with 679,406 recorded in the first 10 months of the year.
South Koreans were second at 525,564, followed by Japanese at 331,156 and Chinese at 229,989, the bureau said.
Government statistics show that there were 3.017 million tourist arrivals in 2009, down 3.9 percent from 2008.