services that are provided must be developed in such a way as to provide an experience. They can‟t just provide a basic service because that is what everyone else is doing, but rather, what can they do to make that service standout and be memorable to the guests. There is a need in hotels to provide services entertain; such as video games, internet, and movies. Restaurants need to provide an experience such as great food, a themed environment, or a service staff that is trained so well as to be able to meet all the gusts needs and wants. Vegas is an example of this shift; it‟s not just about casinos anymore. In Vegas, it is now about great dining experiences, a variety of shows and entertainment, and a great nightlife.
As the Philippines develop their tourism industry they need to keep this in mind. Casinos can bring in tourists and money but in the long run it is not what brings people back. They need to give them the experience they desire. In Entertainment City the focus needs to be put more on the experience of being there, not just the casinos. Provide world class entertainment and food, provide a variety of things to do, and provide great service. However, they have so much more to offer, they can provide the experience of relaxing on a beautiful beach, or exploring the beautiful mountains and islands.
5. Do you think that the Philippines will succeed in its initiatives on tourism? Explain your answer as to why they will or will not do well using the articles as well as material from class.(30 points)
I believe the Philippines will succeed in their initiatives on tourism. Is it the cure-all for their economy? I don‟t believe so, but tourism can be a part of that. It seems they have taken some lessons from other places and are trying to apply them to their country. The Entertainment City project is massive and maybe is the project with the most risk. This project has already started in July 2009, but is the area‟s infrastructure ready for it yet? From the article in Business Week it seems that they are still in need of roadway and port upgrades, modernization and upgrades of the airport(s), as well as the utilities system. This is a threat to the Entertainment City as seen from the example of Jamaica. Without everyone working together, this could have some of the same implications. The policies and the infrastructure should already be in place but all parties concerned need to work together to ensure this project does not end up with the same results as the Jamaica tourism industry did (pollution, ecological disasters, resentment, higher poverty levels).
However, on the whole I believe the government and the Department of Tourism have the right focus on the industry. They are trying to look at their strengths and market them. With the current economic boom they are in, they are focused on building the infrastructure of the country. This is a big challenge due to the great number of islands. However, they seem to have a focus on creating tourism zones that can be the destinations. By creating zones, they will be able to focus their efforts and spending; otherwise, it would be a daunting task. Also, as seen in the California Tourism report, having so much to do can also be a negative as people don‟t know where to start. By breaking it down into zones, it will be easier for tourists to wrap their heads around and decide what to do. This seems to already be the case. “When travelers come to the Philippines, they don‟t come to the Philippines per se,” says Tourism Secretary Ace Durano. “They come to Boracay or Cebu or Bohol. Not the Philippines.”16
According to the Department of Tourism, the natural attractions, though unique in many ways, are not sufficiently strong in themselves to attract the numbers required to support a significant tourism sector. All destinations, where the core products are nature and culture based but are not considered world class (such as the Galapagos, Egypt, Greece) face this problem. The strategy that many destinations do not have „world class‟ nature and cultural attractions have pursued is to invest heavily in related products - golf, health and wellness, cruise, yachting, marinas, conference and incentive etc. These destinations have seen their tourism sectors prosper and grow.17 This is a strategy that will allow them to have a destination for tourists.