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Travel and tourism to contribute P490B or 3.8% to 2014 PHL output, says council

Tourism's contribution to the Philippines' gross domestic product is expected to rise by 3.8 percent to P490.2 billion this, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

In a report released Wednesday, WTTC said travel and tourism will have a direct contribution of P490.2 billion to the gross domestic product from P472.3 billion in 2013. Passenger transportation services such as hotels and airlines mainly contributed to the growth, though leisure industries supported by tourists also contribute to this growth.

Travel and tourism directly generated 1,226,500 jobs in 2013, accounting for 3.2 percent of total employment in the country. While it was expected to grow by 1.7 percent in 2014, eventually reaching 1,248,000, its contribution to total employment would stay largely the same in percentage terms.

While tourism remains robust, the Philippines still falls below the world average in terms of direct contribution to the GDP, placing 35 in WTTC's world rankings. The Philippines also occupies a fairly low ranking of 14 in terms of the average for direct contribution to employment in the Asia Pacific compared with seven for Thailand and eight for Vietnam.

David Scowsill, WTTC president and CEO said growing economies from Asia and Latin America need to strengthen their infrastructure and human resources to take advantage of the growth the Tourism industry is expected to undergo.

"This will require governments to implement more open visa regimes and to adopt intelligent rather than punitive taxation policies," said Scowsill.

"If the right steps are taken, travel and tourism can be a true force for good," he added. – Rie Takumi/VS, GMA News