Returning to Manila in February 2017, there seems to be much for the HICP attendees to cheer about. International visitor arrivals to the Philippines have recorded just over 4 million for the January-to-August-2016 period – this is the first time arrivals to the archipelago have reached the 4 million mark within 8 months and the figure is up about 12.6% from the same period last year. 2015 also saw the Philippines record an unprecedented 5.36 million visitors to the country. Although the numbers still do not appear to be anywhere close to the Aquino administration’s target of 10 million international arrivals by 2016, the outlook certainly is optimistic for the sector.
The Duterte administration, in its bid to attract more foreign investment into the country, has vowed to relax economic restrictions and make it easier to do business in the Philippines. President Duterte has also said he’d accelerate infrastructure spending, build more access roads to tourism gateways, as well as provide inter-island transport links – all pointing towards a more equitable distribution of tourist traffic across the archipelago, as communicated by Usec. Bengzon at the 2016 event, quoting Mactan-Cebu, Kalibo, Clark and Davao.
What will this mean for the local hospitality sector? How can the owners, developers, investors, operators, designers, hospitality technology solution providers, legal and consultancy honchos – existing players and newcomers alike – complement the existing landscape on the 7,107 islands?
Together with our esteemed partners and sponsors, we look forward to hosting you at the event again, and getting these questions answered.