Nov 102013

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Tourism (DOT) is optimistic that it will still meet its five million tourist arrival target for this year despite the projected slowdown in global tourism in 2013.

Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. told The STAR that while there are some obstacles to tourism growth, the international visitors arrival target for 2013 is still achievable.

“Yes, we are confident that we will breach the five million mark for foreign and the targeted 44 million domestic travelers for 2013. There are challenges but we will overcome them,” he said.

Latest report by the World Tourism and Travel Council indicated that “the global travel and tourism industry will grow marginally slower in 2013 than previously indicated.”

WTTC forecasts that the total contribution from travel and tourism to the world economy will be 2.9 percent in 2013, down from the 3.2 percent growth initially forecast in February this year.

“However, the reduction in growth in travel and tourism is driven by reduced investment growth in the economy as a whole, impacting on the industry and slowing global economic growth,” WTTC said.

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Oxford Economics, WTTC’s research partner, forecasts global economic growth to be 2.1 percent, a slight downgrade from the 2.4 percent forecast at the start of the year.

WTTC president and CEO David Scowsill said, “Travel and Tourism is a growth industry which generates nine percent of global gross domestic product (GDP) and supports 260 million jobs, or one in 11 of the world’s jobs.”

For this year, travel and tourism total contribution to GDP is expected to grow at 2.9 percent, according to WTTC’s latest estimates.

Recently, some of the major tourist destinations in the country were hit by natural calamities which are expected to affect the local tourism industry.

But DOT latest figures showed that the country’s tourism arrivals continue to grow. As of end-September, foreign arrivals hit a record four million mark.

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