The local tourism industry plays an important role in fueling the growth of the Philippine economy. In 2017 alone, tourism contributed around 21 percent of the country’s gross domestic product and spurred the expansion of other industries such as real estate, food and transportation sectors.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), such as those engaged in the accommodation and food services sectors, have benefited from the unprecedented growth in the tourism industry and the rise in the number of visitors to the Philippines, which reached a record 7.1 million in 2018, up 7.65 percent from 2017, according to the Department of Tourism.
The accommodation and food services sectors account for the second largest in the number of SMEs in the tourism industry.
But challenges like a new breed of competition spurred by the pervasion of digital technology and innovative business models such as on-demand lodging and short-term rentals and the unexpected competition from online travel agencies are hampering the industry from maximizing the benefits of this growth.
In a survey conducted by SGS Philippines, it was revealed that there were three main issues that posed a threat to the continued growth of the tourism sector namely: the entry of new players in the market; retention of skilled employees; and, the lack of up-to-date marketing competency.
Cognizant of these problems that hounded the tourism stakeholders, Globe myBusiness is empowering the industry, particularly SMEs, through digitalization, to help them sharpen their competitive edge against the new entrants, help them understand the causes of attrition so that they can improve their retention rate, and enhance their marketing capabilities so that they can expand their market share and boost their businesses.
Thus, Globe myBusiness gathered more than 200 tourism industry leaders, business owners and other key players to a day-long conference dubbed as “Breakthroughs: Tourism” that seeks to empower and inspire participants to create the future of travel through talks from experts that tackle, among others, the various tourism trends that will shape their businesses in the years to come.
We at Globe would like to support this (tourism) industry because this industry needs a lot of updating in terms of the digital world. Digital is changing how thing are done. Aside from promoting, there’s infrastructure that we need to bring. I was personally involved in helping a resort owner in Busuanga, Coron to bring cell sites, more coverage because he has a wonderful resort. Customers were complaining because they cannot share the wonderful photos on Instagram. So we work together in partnership to create a business case that would really facilitate the building of facilities that will bring him 5-10 mbps of internet in his own resort. It is possible that by working with us to make that happen. As he said to me, his guests would rather have free wifi than free breakfast. – Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu
“Breakthroughs: Tourism is a testament to our commitment to empower small and medium businesses to thrive despite the challenges they encounter day-to-day by helping them use innovative technologies as a business advantage,” said Michelle Tapia, Head of Strategy, Innovation and Transformation at Globe myBusiness.
“For the tourism industry, we’re not only helping them understand digital disruption but enabling them to take advantage of it in creating the future of travel and tourism through talks on the changes and trends in their business environment and a visioning workshop to create the future of the tourism industry,” she added.
The conference also featured vision-setting exercises to help stakeholders further understand the future of the tourism industry, the challenges they have to face and cope with amid the fast evolution of technology, and the ongoing revolution in the digital world.
As a major provider of basic telecommunications services to the business community, Globe myBusiness is committed to be the partner in the success of SMEs in the tourism industry by providing them with the right technology and digital solutions.
Tourism is a multi-faceted industry. The only way to enhance it is through a holistic development of the sector. We will be advocates of responsible tourist destinations and we will be champions of sustainable tourism to create a dependable source of income for Filipinos. With all the positive changes that we aim to bring forward in the next four years, we invite the private sectors to be our partners in responsibly developing tourism products, infrastructure and services. – DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat
Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat was the keynote speaker of the conference while a stellar panel of speakers discussed trends in the tourism industry, such as “Regional and Local Trends” by Raoul Villegas, Executive Director, Pricewaterhouse Coopers; “Customer Insights” by Gino Borromeo, Chief Strategy Officer, McCann Worldwide Philippines; “Emerging Tech and Tourism” by Alexander de Leon, Head of Product Marketing, Instagram APAC; “Destination Marketing” by Gary Cheng, Destination Marketing Manager, TripAdvisor; “Business Trends” by Desiree Bandal, Head of Government Policy and Government Affairs, AirAsia; and “Sustainability” by HannielAlmasco, MPM, Environmental Officer, El Nido Resorts and AA Yaptinchay, DVM, Executive Director and Founder, Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines.