Philippine Standard time

Enhancing Tourism Exports in Asia and the Pacific Pushed

Economies of Asia and the Pacific can enhance tourism exports in the region through investments in creating tourism infrastructure, business facilities and human resources, and developing specialized policies for tourism exports, according to a report released by the Asian Development Bank.

This, as island economies are highly dependent on tourism services for their gross domestic product, exports and employment generation, said the report which analyzes tourism in Asia and the Pacific as a services export industry.  

The report said governments in the region should create a policy framework to attract and facilitate domestic and foreign investment for building tourism infrastructure. 

“They must undertake investment facilitative measures to build more tourism and transport infrastructure,” it said. “These measures could include investment incentives in the form of tax holidays for specific periods, import duty concessions for goods used in the tourism sector, such as luxury transport vehicles, hotel equipment, furniture, etc., and easier land transfer and registration procedures, among others.” 

Apart from investment in the traditional tourism infrastructure, the report said domestic and foreign investment in business facilities, such as convention centers, would also be useful in creating an alternative pool of international travelers: business tourists.

Investment to create business tourism infrastructure can be facilitated through fiscal and tax incentives as well as through binding commitments in trade agreements, it added.

The report also underscored the importance of investment in the human resources involved in various tourist activities. 

“Professional and skilled resources will help economies create a positive brand image for greater tourism. Therefore, governments should be proactively involved in imparting training to various tourist service providers,” it said.

The report added it is imperative to update existing skills among tourism service providers as digital tools and technologies spread.

“This would involve training employees and service providers to comply with online etiquette, security of digital payment methods, and ensuring the data privacy of the travelers,” it said.

Further, the report recommended developing dedicated policies for tourism exports promotion as most economies in the region have generalized policies for the sector.

“Governments may consider specialized policies focusing on tourism exports. Such policies may have export-linked subsidies and incentives for this sector,” it said. 

To enhance tourism exports in Asia and the Pacific, the report also underscored the need to develop alternative tourist destinations, use digital tools and technologies for enhancing tourism offerings, easier tourist visa policies, tourism enabling policies in other sectors, diversifying sources of international tourists, and branding and marketing campaigns.

 It said alternative tourist destinations need to be systematically developed with government support for infrastructure development, training, and skilling of the local population. 

“Government support measures could also include offering financial incentives to budding entrepreneurs for developing tourism in specific rural areas to showcase the traditions and culture of that place,” it added.


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