Philippines tourism, a tough sell?
As a tourist destination, the Philippines is loaded with the attractions travelers dream of: lots of sun, gorgeous beaches, world-class scenery, adventure opportunities, friendly outgoing locals, fascinating history and lots of little-roamed territory. Yet for all its advantages, the nation of more than 7,000 islands has a big problem attracting travelers. According to the United Nations World Tourism Association, with about 3.5 million international tourist arrivals in 2010 (its most recent published figures), the Philippines nets just 1.7 percent of tourist arrivals in the booming Asia Pacific region, and a mere 1.1 percent of international tourism revenues in the region. With 27.3 percent, China leads the region in arrivals, but the Philippines also trails nations such as Malaysia (12.1 percent of Asia Pacific’s international tourist arrivals), Thailand (7.8 percent), Singapore (4.5 percent), Taiwan (2.7 percent) and Vietnam (2.5 percent). In 2010, the Philippines accounted for only 8.1 percent of the international air seats flown per week within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which includes the Philippines, Brunei, Cambodia, Indone