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MEDIA RELEASE

23 May 2015
PH leads APEC Conference on Enhancing Tourism Competitiveness

The Conference on Enhancing Tourism Competitiveness in the APEC


Region Through Alignment of Tourism and Taxation Policies is the
implementation of the first of the three Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Tourism
Working Group (APEC-TWG) projects in its annual work programme. The
conference was held on 19 May 2015 at the Paradise Garden Resort, Boracay
Island, Aklan, and attended by senior tourism and finance officials from the APEC
region, officials and members of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC),
international tourism associations, select local government executives, and local
tourism industry leaders.
We welcome the Philippine leadership in this initiative as well as the
engagement of other economies such as Chile, Indonesia, Korea, and Peru,
Tourism Lead Shepherd Javier Guillermo Molina said.
More specifically, the conference served to assess the impact of current
taxation measures as well as their changes over time in relation to travel and tourism
demand, revenues, and job growth. It likewise provided a comparative analysis of
taxation levels in the tourism industry versus taxes in other key sectors towards
ensuring a fair and equitable treatment of taxation across industries in the region. It
also gave impetus for development policies and programs, which can be pursued by
the TWG or senior finance officials to support the growth and development of tourism
in the APEC region.
Seasoned speakers shared their expertise on four main sessions that focused
on: 1) the economic impact of taxation on travel and tourism growth, 2) maximizing
visitor expenditure through better taxation, 3) business efficiency and growth, and, 4)
stimulating tourism promotion and investments. Professor Maria Cherry Lyn Rodolfo
of the University of Asia and the Pacific and Reid Foundation acted as moderator.

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Session one speakers included Mr. Alain Dupeyras, Head of the Tourism Unit,
Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs and Local Development of the Overseas
Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); Mr. Paul Kent, Director for
Economics and Regulation, KPMG and Ms. Helen Marano, Vice-President, World
Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). The second session experts were Mr. John
Veng Kuy Chong, Senior Adviser for International Economic Affairs Division,
Economic Services, Macao SAR and Mr. Shogo Yago, Chief Official, Tourism
Strategy Division, Japan Tourism Agency.
The third session gathered Mr. Vinoop Goel, Regional Head, Airport,
Passenger, Cargo & Security for Asia Pacific, IATA and Ms. Aileen Clemente,
President of Rajah Travel Corporation. The fourth and last session welcomed Dr.
Kangwook Lee, Head of International Tourism Research Center, Culture and
Tourism Institute; Mr. Edwin Darma Setiawan, Director Promotion Development
Corporation; Indonesia and Ms. Jennifer Aquinaga , National Travel and Tourism
Office, Department of Commerce, USA.
Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) Assistant Secretary Rolando
Canizal, who closed the conference, reiterated the broad statement made by the
panelists on the whole of government approach to ensure the continued growth
and competitiveness of tourism in APEC. Moving forward, Mr. Canizal said that the
APEC senior tourism and finance officials need to forge greater and stronger
collaboration to eliminate, if not minimize, the impact of taxation on tourism
businesses and tourists.
The tourism industry fully recognizes the important role of taxation to nation
building. However, a fair, equitable, transparent, and simple tax policy stimulates
more economic activities that redound to increased employment and gross domestic
product (GDP). In addition, fees and levies collected from tourism need to be
allocated to support infrastructure, product development, and marketing for the
sector.

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CONTACT:

EVELYN A. MACAYAYONG
Media and Communications Service
459 5200, loc. 510
eamacayayong@tourism.gov.ph

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Photos by DOT

(L-R). Mr. Paul Kent, Director for Economics and Regulation, KPMG, Professor Maria Cherry
Lyn Rodolfo, UAP/Reid Foundation and Mr. Alain Dupeyras, Head of the Tourism Unit, Centre for
Entrepreneurship, SMEs and Local Development, OECD.

(L-R) Professor Maria Cherry Lyn Rodolfo, Mr. John Veng Kuy Chong, Senior Adviser for
International Economic Affairs Division, Economic Services, Macao SAR and Mr. Shogo Yago, Chief
Official, Tourism Strategy Division, Japan Tourism Agency, Japan.

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(L-R) Professor Maria Cherry Lyn Rodolfo, Dr. Kangwook Lee, Head of International Tourism Research Center,
Culture and Tourism Institute, Korea; Mr. Edwin Darma Setiawan, Director, Bali Tourism Development Corporation,
Nusa Dua, Indonesia; and, Ms. Jennifer Aguinaga, National Travel and Tourism Office, Department of Commerce,
USA.

(L-R) Professor Maria Cherry Lyn Rodolfo, Mr. Vinoop Goel, Regional Head Airport, Passenger, Cargo & Security
for Asia Pacific, IATA and Ms. Aileen Clemente, President, Rajah Travel Corporation, Philippines.

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