MANILA — Up to 10 percent of the country’s total workforce is expected to have tourism-related jobs before the end of the Aquino administration, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said on Monday.
Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. told reporters in an interview that while the goal of 10-million international tourist arrivals will be “difficult” to meet, the case is different for the agency’s employment generation target.
“By 2016, we should have about 5.2-million to 5.4-million directly employed in tourism-related jobs — hopefully more,” Jimenez said. “That will be almost 10 percent of the total workforce in the Philippines.”
As for revenue target, the tourism chief further said that the agency is aiming to achieve over USD 6-billion by 2016.
“If we can exceed USD 6-billion, we will be fine,” Jimenez said.
Given the risk of its tourist arrivals target falling short of 10-million, Jimenez explained that employment generation and revenue targets are performance indicators that should be given just as much attention as arrivals.
“There are three statistics: Arrivals, income (revenue) and employment. Arrivals are not exactly what is expected, that’s why we work on employment and income,” the tourism chief explained.
“We will end 2016 well within our target for income and employment,” he assured.
When asked if the agency was opting to lower its tourist arrivals target, Jimenez said he did not find it necessary.
“It does not help anybody to downgrade it,” Jimenez said. He expressed high hopes that the target of acquiring 5.5-million international tourist arrivals by the end of the year will be met.
As of April, the agency acquired over 1.8 million international tourist arrivals from its top three source markets, namely Korea, the United States and Japan.
Jimenez said he expects an upward trend in its targets in the coming months.