Philippines Shows that Fun is the New Way to be Serious about Tourism

The Philippines, though proclaiming ´fun´ as the tagline of its newest tourism slogan, is serious about its tourism industry, and its record-breaking growth in visitor arrivals, new tourism master plan and enthusiasm to get on board with UNWTO´s Global Leaders for Tourism campaign at next week´s APEC conference in Manila are proof.

The country, which will host Destination APEC 2020:  A Conference on Enhancing Tourism and Air Transport Connectivity in the Asia-Pacific Region from 26 February to 1 March, welcomed 3.92million visitors in 2011, a record-breaking increase of 11.28% compared with the previous year and 4.6% more than the Department of Tourism had predicted.

President Benigno Aquino III will be the twenty-first Head of State/Government to publically declare his understanding of and dedication to the importance of tourism as a key driver of economic, social and sustainable growth, by taking part in UNWTO´s Global Leaders for Tourism Campaign and accepting an Open Letter from UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai following next week´s APEC event.

The Open Letter, presented previously to the Heads of State of Asia Pacific counterparts Indonesia, China, Korea, Malaysia and Brunei, has also been received by Mexico, South Africa, Kazakhstan, Hungary, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Mozambique, Armenia, Romania, Croatia, Ireland, Colombia, Azerbaijan and Serbia. The letter highlights the importance of prioritizing travel and tourism in national policies to maximize the sector´s potential, and once signed will become part of a ¨Golden Book¨ showcasing those countries which are making tourism a priority sector in challenging global economic times.

The Philippines, which earlier this year launched its new tourism slogan, It´s more fun in the Philippines, is certainly looking to make the most of the opportunities brought on by tourism. With its new 20-year Tourism Master Plan due to be released this year, the country hopes to attract 6.5 million international arrivals by 2016 – a high target, especially considering the distance and expense of reaching the Philippines from source markets such as Europe and the Americas – but no doubt one that the country will have fun working towards.

Useful Links:

For more information on the Global Leaders for Tourism Campaign:

For more information about the Global Leaders for Tourism Campaign in Asia:

For more information about the Philippines´ new tourism slogan: