Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr wants Philippine tourism sector to ‘go green’

2024 June 28

GREEN TOURISM. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. graces the opening ceremony of the 36th Joint Meeting of the United Nations Tourism Commission for East Asia and the Pacific, and the UN Tourism Commission for South Asia at Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu province on Friday (June 28, 2024). In his speech, President Marcos said sustainability through green transformation is an important aspect in developing the tourism industry

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Friday said the Philippine tourism industry should pursue a “green transformation” to achieve a sustainable society and economy.

During the opening ceremony of the 36th Joint Meeting of the United Nations (UN) Tourism Commission for East Asia and the Pacific, and the UN Tourism Commission for South Asia in Cebu, President Marcos said sustainability through green transformation is an important aspect in developing the tourism industry.

”We need to adopt sustainability in our society and economy, and certainly in the sector of tourism. We must go green in the transformation of our tourism products and services as a solution to address climate change, resource preservation, and long-term industry sustainability,” Marcos said in his keynote speech.

“As a matter of fact, I would take that even a step further, and if we are to talk about tourism, I am of the belief that the greener you are, the better the tourism experience will be,” he added.

Marcos noted that the government is boosting the public-private partnership to pursue reforms that will make tourists “visit, stay, spend, and return” to the Philippines.

According to the President, these include measures easing visa access, enhancing water sanitation and healthcare facilities in major tourist destinations and improving connectivity hubs such as airports.

“By adopting these practices, we create a tourism industry that not only creates responsible visitors, but also uplifts the lives of those who are part of that activity,” he said.

Aside from sustainability, Marcos said investing in education would help promote the country’s tourism sector.

“Indeed, education is always going to make any industry better, and certainly tourism is no different. We need to raise the standards and practices in this crucial sector by investing in education, training, and skills upgrading of all the personnel who are working in this industry,” the President said.

He expressed optimism that the 36th Joint Meeting of the UN Tourism Commission for East Asia and the Pacific and the UN Tourism Commission for South Asia will lead to better practices and more tourism arrivals in the Philippines and around the world.

“I am very, very optimistic that your meetings will be a platform for collaboration, for discourse, and the sharing of best practices on such crucial topics for this sector as we prepare for the activities leading up to the World Tourism Day of 2024,” Marcos said.

PH tourism’s contribution to the economy

President Marcos reported that the tourism industry in the Philippines significantly contributed PHP2.09 trillion to the country’s economy in 2023, representing 8.6 percent of the gross domestic product.

The figure is 48 percent higher than the PHP1.41 trillion Tourism Direct Gross Value Added (TDGVA) in 2022, he noted.

According to the President, the 2023 TDGVA was impressive for being the highest recorded since 2000.

He highlighted that through the Department of Tourism, the government surpassed its 2023 tourist arrival target of 4.8 million after recording 5.45 million international tourists.

International tourist arrival in the Philippines reached 2.9 million from January to March alone, accounting for 38.1 percent of the 7.7 million tourist arrival target this year.

“These highlight the robust recovery and continued appeal of our country as a top travel destination,” he said

Filane Mikee Cervantes (PNA)