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More jobs on tourism, says Phl senator
This was the suggestion Monday of Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara on how to trim the 27 percent joblessness rate by luring more tourists, especially from Japan, Korea and China, which last year combined for half of the 4.6 million tourist arrivals.
With almost three in every 10 employable Filipinos without work, Angara said the challenge is to create more jobs the fastest.
He cited tourism as one that can "incubate jobs" in the shortest time.
Angara said an investment of as little as P100,000 can already create one job in the tourism sector. In light industries, it would need P10 million to create one job.
In tourism, he said the basic assets like "sand, sea, surf and sun" are already there.
"What is needed is to build the support infrastructure around them, like roads to where these are and places where the tourists can stay," the senator stressed.
Angara said despite the lack of tourism infrastructure, the Philippines has been breaking tourism arrival records.
"Not even calamities like (typhoon) ‘Yolanda’ can deter tourists from coming in to find out for themselves if it is indeed more fun in the Philippines," he said.
Last year, the Department of Tourism recorded 4.7 million international arrivals, up by 10 percent from 2012.
At 1.17 million, Koreans made up a quarter of all arrivals. The Japanese was third after the Americans with 433,705 of them visiting the country last year.
“And despite the diplomatic tensions caused by Manila and Beijing's competing claims over West Philippine Sea, 426,352 Chinese tourists came last year,” Angara said.
According to Angara, foreign tourists spent $4.4 billion, or P186.15 billion, last year.
He said their average daily expenditure also increased by 9% to $102, adding that Koreans spent more than the average tourist, plunking in $141 a day.
But Angara stressed that Korean tourist's average spending in the Philippines of P40,000 is still below the Canadians who each spent an average of P62,000 per visit.