Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez unveiled on Wednesday DoT’s plan in building a marketing partnership with Singapore to attract more tourists to the Philippines.
Calling it the “Sunshine Trail”, Singapore would serve as the primary access from potential markets such as Europe while the Philippines would host sun lust attractions. With this setup, the country would be getting significant shares of visitor arrivals from Singapore.
In 2011, the city-state recorded a 13.2 million tourist arrivals, a 13-percent increase from the previous year. Its major markets include China, Malaysia, Australia, and India.
In the same year, the Philippines recorded a nearly four million arrivals, surpassing DoT’s target by more than two hundred thousand tourists.
Jimenez identified Singapore’s Changi Airport, dubbed as second best in the world by Skytrax as a major advantage in the possible joint venture, considering the Philippines’ accessibility difficulties from Air France-KLM’s halt in April of the country’s only direct flight link to Europe to FAA’s downgrade.
The secretary said talks are ongoing, further saying that the plan is part of the year’s tourism roadmap.
Meanwhile, an insider revealed that the idea was also used by then DoT Secretary Gemma Cruz-Araneta during the Estrada administration. However, it never materialized. Paolo Abellanosa