Puerto Galera
4,358 hotel rooms to open in PHL in 2011


A senior Department of Tourism (DOT) official said 4,358 hotel rooms will open in Manila, Cebu, Bohol, Cagayan Valley, Bicol, Eastern Visayas and Northern Mindanao until the end of this year.

DOT Assistant Secretary for international tourism promotion Benito Bengzon Jr. said the increase in investments in accommodation facilities in the country came with the high growth in tourist arrivals last year.

Bengzon said that from this year to 2014, room capacities will further expand, with the completion of 10,524 rooms throughout the country.

He said the department has high hopes for the tourism industry, after seeing a 17 percent growth in visitor arrivals last year.

Bengzon pointed out that they saw a 13 percent growth in arrivals for the first quarter. They project visitor arrivals to reach 3.74 million by the end of the year.

Bengzon added that aside from foreign tourists, domestic tourism is also growing.

He said figures from the National Statistics Office showed 22.8 million Filipinos traveled around the country in 2009.

Bengzon said the signing of Executive Order 29, which authorizes air panels and the Civil Aeronautics Board to aggressively pursue international civil aviation liberalization policies, is expected to open secondary gateways to the country which will enable more travelers to explore destinations the country has to offer.

“Hotel investors can now build more facilities in various destinations and look for airline partners that will bring in their clients,” he said.

Bengzon said they have begun informing international airlines about the new policy and hope they will see opportunities to offer flights to and from these destinations.

Though local carriers Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines have expressed concerns on reciprocity, Bengzon believes the order will also benefit them because the tourism market will expand. (PNA)