The Philippines allots a meager $49 million for tourism compared to Indonesia’s P645 million.
Other neighboring countries also have big appropriations for tourism with Malaysia being behind Indonesia with $358 million; Singapore with $376 million; and Thailand with $111 million.
Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco painted this picture to Senator Nancy Binay, chairwoman of the Senate finance sub-committee J, during the Department of Tourism’s presentation of its proposed 2023 P3.573 billion budget.
Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, Ejercito noted the “enormous” multiplier effect of the tourism industry as compared to other sectors.x
“That probably explains the way they (Asian countries) market their countries. (They are) advertising all over the world... given the meager budget that we have, I think we can still improve a lot,” Ejercito said.
Binay questioned the DOT’s change of slogan every six years, which she said could take a big slice in the DOT budget.
“Unlike other countries, you change your slogan every six years. It’s not cheap to change a slogan and our budget is limited,” Binay pointed out.
During the public hearing, Frasco presented the seven-point agenda of the DOT and its attached agencies and corporations.
Frasco said for the next six years, DOT would work on improving tourism infrastructure and accessibility; the cohesive and comprehensive digitalization and connectivity; the enhancement of overall tourism experience; equalization of tourism product development and promotion; diversification of portfolio through multidimensional tourism; maximization of domestic tourism; and strengthening tourism governance through close collaboration with local government units and stakeholders.
She explained that the tourism industry is already recovering from the pandemic.