President Duterte on Friday called for the strengthening of relations between the government and tourism and travel industry players as a major factor in helping push economic growth amid the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Let us all continue working together to make the tourism sector boost its performance for social growth and economic development,” the President said in a taped video message to the ongoing 221st World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit at the Mariott Hotel in Pasay City.
The Chief Executive expressed confidence that the challenges the tourism industry faces would be addressed during the WTTC convention.
“It is our pleasure to host this gathering of leaders, decision-makers and top-level officials of the world’s travel and tourism sector. I trust that with your expertise in this field, this event will help us spur meaningful discussion about the concerns of tourism and the travelers in the post-pandemic era,” Duterte said.
Some 1,000 local and foreign delegates are attending WTTC summit, key government tourism representatives and industry stakeholders with the view of attuning efforts to help push economic recovery following the two-year COVID pandemic.
A WTTC report showed that despite the pandemic, travel and tourism in the Philippines generated US41 billion in 2021, representing 10.4 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
The WTTC also reported that the tourism sector helped generate some 7.8 million jobs last year.
The global tourism body also projected that by 2032, the Philippine travel and tourism’s contribution to GDP could be in excess of US155 billion, accounting for 21.4 percent of the national economy.
The country has further relaxed its Covid-19 restrictions, given the continued drop in coronavirus cases nationwide.
From April 11 to 17, the country logged an additional 1,674 Covid-19 infections, 12 percent lower than the cases reported from April 4 to 10.
On Thursday, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said Southeast Asian nations sought the unification of a health passport to facilitate seamless travel for tourists.
During the summit, tourism stakeholders also emphasized the need to standardize coronavirus-related travel requirements.