Cherry, a 22-year-old graduate of Mass Communication from a Manila-based university, ended up working at a health club that is actually a high-class brothel in Quezon City. Unable to get a job for which she was qualified, she had dabbled in low-paying jobs to help support her family before finding her way to Quezon Avenue. Her desperation eventually led her to become a sex worker earning as much as P5,000 a night.
For the first time, the Philippines will have its own hotel rating system based on a global standard that will elevate the status of Philippine accommodation facilities.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) said it has assessed over 700 tourism establishments in the past year and is poised to rate them under a new system ranging from one to five stars under the National Accommodation Standards (NAS).
The beauty and healthcare industry in the Philippines bucks the global economic downturn and thrives on the back of increased foreign visitor arrivals and expanding middle class spawned by the growing business process outsourcing industry.
"Contrary to expectations, three things thrive during crisis, namely: food, alcohol, and aesthetics," said Dr. Dr. Yanee V. Santos, founder of Aesthetic Science Clinic, a specialized clinic in the field of cosmetic dermatology and plastic surgery located in Alabang, Muntinlupa.
International visitor arrivals in the Philippines grew 11 percent year-on-year in the first four months of 2010, according to the Bureau of Immigration. It said a total of 1.081 million foreigners arrived in the January-April period, up from 982,432 visitors who came in the same period last year.
Immigration Commissioner Marcelino Libanan said this signals a positive development for the country’s tourism industry.
There are about 200,000 foreign nationals who are now staying in the Philippines on immigrant and non-immigrant status, according to the Bureau of Immigration. As of 1st January 2011, the bureau has registered 90,413 foreign immigrants and 98,733 non-immigrants.
It reported that over the past three years, the number of foreign migrants in the Philippines increased 50 percent from 60,554 in 2007 to 90,413 in 2010. This was linked to the large number of Chinese nationals who migrated to the Philippines.
South East Asian Airlines (SEAIR) has partnered with Singaporean low-cost carrier Tiger Airways to lease two Airbus aircraft as well as an online marketing arrangement. Under the agreement, SEAIR flights will be sold through Tiger Airways’ Internet booking system. Southeast Asian Airlines also started its flights between Clark and Singapore on 16th December 2010.
A comprehensive study by the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) found that for the years 2000 to 2010, the tourism sector contributed about 5.8 percent to the gross domestic product (GDP) annually. Its total contribution in 2010 reached PhP518.5 billion, or 13.0 percent higher than previous year’s PhP459 billion, according to the Philippine Tourism Satellite Accounts (PTSA) compiled by the NSCB in coordination with the Department of Tourism.
Among the tourism industries, shopping had the largest contribution at 20.3 percent, followed by accommodation with 14.8 percent, and entertainment and recreation with 6.8 percent. Other industries and their corresponding shares include travel agencies (5.6 percent), food and beverage (5.3 percent), transport (3.5 percent), and miscellaneous (0.9 percent).
The Asian Institute of Management (AIM) has launched the AIM-Dr. Andrew L. Tan Center for Tourism which aims to promote sustainable tourism development in the country.
The center aims to address current issues on the effectiveness of MICE (Meetings,Incentives, Conferences and Events), the use of technology to enhance tourism promotions, develop better airline policies, and longer-term concerns, including the future of community-based tourism and the impact of climate change on tourism development, said Lim.