ecotourism due to their many beautiful areas. Once there, they can market some of the smaller locations and ecotourism operations as a secondary destinations. The tourism department, for its part, said that eco-tourism has always been its advocacy through its promotions and activities. “Green tourism has always been our advocacy, being a country blessed with natural resources and ecotourism sites. With our participation in this upcoming event in Brunei Darussalam (Asean Tourism Forum), we aim to not only promote our tourism destinations, but also to call for responsible travel – both from industry players and tourists alike,” said Tourism Secretary Joseph “Ace” Durano. Among those activities that may be associated with green tourism or eco-tourism are bird and dolphin watching, nature trekking, snorkeling and visit of wildlife sites. 18
They also seem to understand that they have a large market in Filipinos living abroad, especially in the US. They have on the most part done well and are sending money home that has helped with the current economic boon. Their “Live the Dream” campaign is targeting them to not just vacation there but to buy a second vacation home. This is helping the real estate business as well as bringing in tourists that have money to spend and who will stay for longer periods of time. Tourists who spend long periods of time will tend to spend in the local economy especially if they own a home there. This will help with leakages out of the country and local economy.
So overall I believe they are trying to do things the right way. It won‟t be easy and there may be some failures, but they are headed in the right direction as far as their tourism industry is concerned.
6. Do you think that the Bagong Nayong Pilipino will do well? Why or why not and how does it compare with the issues that face the gaming industry in United States? (10 points)
I believe the Bagong Nayong Pilipino (Entertainment City) has a chance to do well as long as they don‟t try to make it the cure-all answer for their economy. Gaming is very big in Asia because Asians love to gamble. So this will certainly be a draw for people from other Asian countries as well as the local population. However, the gaming is only a smaller part of the concept as it is planned $15-billion entertainment and leisure complex which will feature a complete range of world-class amenities for people of all ages. The hotels will have such amenities as upscale retail opportunities, restaurants, theaters, a world-class aquarium, a world-class theme park, a museum, plus a tower that will be among the tallest in the world.19 These will go a long way in providing that experience people are looking for today. Of course, all this depends on how well the Philippines address the challenges and dangers discussed in questions 1 and 2 above. From all the readings it looks like they are trying to understand all the issues and deal with them with all parties concerned.
In the American gaming industry we saw a shift from the dark, dirty casinos run by the mob to casinos that are now large entertainment complexes and are run by investors. It is no longer just enough to have a casino. There needs to be more to entertain the guests and give them memorable experiences. This same issue faces the Philippines as they build this complex – it can‟t be all about the gaming. They must put as much, or more, focus on the other entertainment aspects of “Entertainment” City.