MANILA–A lawmaker at the House of Representatives on Tuesday called on Filipinos to travel locally and visit domestic destinations instead of going abroad in a bid to boost economic activity in rural areas.
Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat said promoting Philippine tourism serves as an engine of inclusive growth, which is among the key objectives of the Duterte administration.
“Local travel means more money going to our fellow Filipinos in the tourism trade and gives the locals more reason to preserve our cultural heritage and our natural wonders,” said Baguilat.
The Ifugao solon also called on the government to resolve peace and order issues, as well as improve provincial infrastructure to make it easier for tourists to travel to these local destinations.
“A study has shown that our tourism competitiveness has dipped because of concerns such as security and this may have an effect on the arrival of tourists from abroad. Locals should take up the slack by visiting local spots and helping the domestic economy,” Baguilat said.
Baguilat cited the World Travel and Tourism Council report that revealed tourism as a significant contributor to the Philippine economy with a 19.7 percent share, or some PHP2.85 trillion, in the country’s gross domestic product in 2016.
The industry covers hotels, travel agents, airlines, passenger transportation services, restaurant and leisure industries, and directly supports 2.2 million jobs or 5.5 percent of total employment.