Marcos to boost PH's tourism industry; cites Singapore, Thailand, Hawaii

Published July 13, 2022, 3:49 PM

by Betheena Unite

Citing tourism industries of Singapore, Thailand, and Hawaii, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. wants the Philippines to have more tourism-driven infrastructure projects and improved policies to boost its own tourism sector.

President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. (Photo courtesy of Malacañang)

During the Cabinet meeting on July 12, Marcos pointed out the importance of infrastructure projects, as well as improved tourism-related policies, in order to allow the tourism industry in the country to recover.

The President, who presided over the meeting virtually while he was in isolation, cited how Singapore fared in the tourism sector despite limited natural resources.

“That means that it can be done. We just have to support the plan to develop all of these enabling environment – the policy, conditions, and infrastructure,” Marcos told his Cabinet.

The Chief Executive also underscored that the ease of doing business in tourism includes “ease of getting here, getting around, arranging for tours, getting drivers… finding a hotel.”

He discussed how healthcare facilities in big tourist destinations like Boracay could be improved as he cited the arrangement implemented in beaches in Hawaii and Thailand.

“[Sa] beach (In beaches), maraming (there are a lot of) police and everything…So, if anything happens along that stretch, meron silang tatakbuhan kaagad (they can promptly seek help). The lifeguards know exactly where to bring them,” Marcos said.

“That is supported by the local industry. Toka-toka sila (they have to share in every task), to keep a doctor there, to keep a nurse there,” he added.

Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco said the Philippines is “certainly not at a disadvantage” with regard to the availability of natural resources, wealth of talent , and products and people.

“But certainly, many measures could be improved as far as policy regulations, both on the national and local level, and proper coordination – to be able to focus on the overall tourist experience from the time that he arrives to the point of entry to the time that he gets to his point of destination,” Frasco said, noting that Singapore has “really mastered this.”

“Certainly, to benchmark their policies in this regard would be the direction that we would take per your instructions,” Frasco added.