NEDA: Focus on squeezing more tourist dollars, not just boosting arrivals
MANILA — The economy still stands to benefit from regulating the number of tourists on the world-famous Boracay Island by expanding its tourism offerings, according to the regional development unit of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
NEDA Undersecretary for Regional Development Adoracion Navarro said the overall strategy should not be about growing the number of tourists entering the island, but rather, increasing revenues from each tourist while maintaining mass tourism services.
“I argued the economic impact of regulating the number of visitors and accommodations can still be net positive if the primary tourism strategy is to grow the tourism expenditure receipts per capita,” she told reporters in an interview Wednesday.
Navarro said the island can generate higher revenue receipts by offering high-quality tourism services and diversifying services, including eco-tourism and cultural tourism activities.
“By increasing the diversity of services, it is possible that more local employment can be generated. It is also advisable to have a conscious strategy of offering alternative destinations to accommodate the extra visitors during peak periods when the carrying capacity is on the verge of being breached,” she said.
The NEDA official further said the “Bora experience” for the masses should likewise be expanded with appropriate scheduling.
“The number of accommodations must be guided by the carrying capacity of the island. Because the Boracay experience can be felt by people by proper scheduling, hindi sabay-sabay (not at the same time),” Navarro said.
“That’s also true in other tourism destination areas. They limit the number of people entering and the limit is guided by the existing number of establishments there. So, kung wala nang makitang (If there are no more) bookings, the tourist will naturally reschedule it if they really want to experience that tourism destination,” she noted.
Navarro added there should be a high price for high-quality tourism goods and services, and at the same time, a low price for low-quality ones, to maximize revenues. (PNA)