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`Receipts better than arrivals as tool in tourism’

An official of the Mindanao Tourism Council (MTC) has advised local government units (LGUs) to focus more on tourism receipts instead of foot traffic when reporting about industry developments.

“That figure (number of tourist arrivals) does not tell you exactly how much is the contribution of the local tourism to the economy,” MTC executive director Jonallier Perez said during the Kapehan sa Davao at SM City on Monday.

Perez said it is “about time that the government will abandon the tourist arrival as a tool when measuring the growth of the industry and instead focus more on the tourist receipts, the actual contribution.”

To boost the earnings of the industry, Perez said local stakeholders reduce economic leakage, “meaning if you have 500 tourists spending P1,000 each per day, make sure you have at least 40% being retained by the government.” Also, he said LGUs must refrain from allowing outsiders as tourist guide.

All of these facets will become the issues that the MTC will discuss with LGUs when it hold roadshows which will start this month South Cotabato. Perez said they will also teach LGUs about the best practices in crafting policies.

“The output is they will craft their respective tourism codes, all the policies about preferential employment and local sourcing of materials. In the next ten years of the council we will focus more on helping LGUs craft better and more responsive policies,” he said.

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