MANILA — The Department of Tourism’s “Visit the Philippines 2015” (VPY2015) campaign is not the only reason why this year should be considered “crucial” for Philippine tourism, according to a DOT official.
DOT Undersecretary for Tourism Development Benito Bengzon Jr. said that although the agency’s event-centric campaign VPY2015 is expected to strengthen the country’s brand image, there is more to tourism than marketing.
“2015 is going to be a very crucial year for Philippine tourism, apart from the fact that we’re celebrating VPY2015,” Bengzon said in a press conference.
The tourism official stressed that 2015 is also a year for major tourism infrastructure projects launched by the Aquino administration to finally come to completion.
“Most of the tourism infrastructure projects in the past years are expected to be completed this year,” Bengzon said. “We will soon be able to have a capacity to put the Philippines at par with our neighboring countries.”
“The hotels, airports, seaports that we have been longing for…these are all exciting things to look forward to,” he added.
To recall, 2014 began with the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) spending PhP1.3- billion for a project to improve the 30-year-old Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1.
Transport Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said last December that the rehabilitation of NAIA Terminal 1 will be finalized before May 2015, or a few months’ later.
The airport, although currently undergoing continuous rehab, now sports new facilities, including flight information display boards, check-in counters, weighing and feeder conveyors, four new chillers, renovated lavatories and better lighting.
Bengzon noted that this year, the agency is also expecting its five-star ratings in its new quality assurance and accreditation standards system to be applied.
These standards are expected to drive hotels and resorts in the country to improve their services and accommodations and meet globally-accepted quality standards and practices.