Gov’t sees tourist influx with dev’ts in tourism, aviation PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 10 March 2013 17:06

Malacanang expects tourist arrivals to surge with the recent development in the country’s aviation and tourism sectors.

Interviewed over state-run dzRB Radyo ng Bayan Saturday, Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the signing of the law exempting foreign air and shipping carriers from paying the common carriers tax would be a boost to the country’s tourism industry.

This is in addition to the travel and tourism competiveness report of the World Economic Forum ranking the Philippines from 92 to 94 and then to 82, Valte said.

The International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) validating mission also lifted significant safety concerns in the Philippine commercial aviation industry.

Explaining the government’s position on the tax exemptions of international carriers from paying the common carriers tax, Valte said the government earns less than one percent of the nation’s budget from the revenues collected from this tax.

“But on the other hand, because you have given the international carriers exemption, then when we forego that particular portion of revenue, which is less than one percent of the budget anyway, magkakaroon ng multiplier effect; kasi ma-i-encourage sila lumipad dito sa ating bansa so that means more flights, it means more tourists will be coming in,” she said.

More tourists arriving the country is a way of creating jobs for Filipinos, she added.

“Alam naman natin that the tourism industry is one of our drivers. Patuloy ang pagdating ng mga turista dito at nagkakaroon ng multiplier effect sa job generation natin.”

Following ICAO’s positive assessment on the Philippine aviation industry, Valte said the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines has been continuously working with the Federal Aviation Administration and the European Union to remove the country from the blacklist.

If the CAAP succeeded in delisting the country from Category 2 status, Philippine carriers could start direct flights to US and European destinations, she said.

To prepare the country for the influx of more tourists, the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) continues to rehabilitate old airports or construct new airports, Valte said.

The Aquino administration targets to achieve 10 million tourist arrivals by 2016.

Last year, the Dept. of Tourism launched the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” campaign slogan to attract more tourists to come to the country.