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Philippine Tourism Dept to Sell Assets to Boost Budget for Marketing and Promotions
Philippine Tourism Dept. to sell assets to boost budget for marketing and promotions.

Lack of resources needed in promoting the country as a tourist destination has prompted the Department of Tourism (DoT) to sell properties within the year.

Tourism Secretary Joseph H. Durano said the DoT has more than 40 non-performing assets which have been identified for privatization.

Eight of the properties will be disposed this year, including the Intramuros Golf Course in Manila, the MacArthur Park in Leyte, and the Banawe Hotel in the Mountain Province. The properties are run by the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA), the asset management unit of the DoT.

Durano said maintenance of the PTA properties eats up P700 million or 70 percent of the agency's annual budget, leaving only P300 million for infrastructure projects.

The DoT, on the other hand, spends P800 million of its P1.2 billion annual budget for promotion and marketing. This is far from the $100 million (P4.5 billion at $1 to P45) spent by other Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore, Durano said.

"You can never promote enough if you are always limited by your resources," he added without divulging the amount the government expects to book by selling its assets.

The Philippines aims to receive 3.8 million tourists this year.

It shares the third spot with Indonesia and Vietnam in the list of preferred tourist destinations in Southeast Asia in terms of tourist volume.(GMANews.TV)






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