The Department of Tourism (DOT) anticipates the demand for eco-tourism or nature-based tourism to increase as people look for safer alternatives in selecting destinations to visit.
Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. said DOT has ramped up its efforts to develop new tourism products that would cater to the travelers’ preferences amidst the pandemic.
“We’re working on product development that will suit the expected greater preference for lower density, high-value outdoor types of tours,” Bengzon shared, adding he is unoptimistic the Philippines will draw domestic and foreign tourists once travel restrictions are eased.
He said preference among travelers for nature-based tours could work to the Philippines’ advantage given its many such assets. Just recently, the Philippines was recognized as the world’s leading dive destination, beating top dive spots like the Azores Islands, Bora Bora, Fiji, French Polynesia, Cayman Islands, Galapagos Islands, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, Maldives, and Mexico.
Aside from its enticing underwater sites, the country also offers idyllic resort islands, including Palawan, Boracay, and Siargao, which was recently cited as one of the best 2021 holiday destinations by Condé Nast Traveller.
Bengzon said DOT also banks on local travel to drive the industry’s recovery, noting that tourism revenues from domestic travel alone reached P3.1 trillion in 2019, much higher than inbound which was pegged at P548.8 billion in the same year.
“Around 85 percent of total tourism revenues in 2019 are from domestic tourism. So we’re also confident we’ll be able to fast-track the industry’s recovery if we help our local enterprises,” he said.