History shows the long term development of tourism in the Philippineshas been influenced by the interaction of a wide range of internal andexternal factors. These factors include:
the relative attractiveness of the country over time, its proximityto markets, the availability of tourist infrastructure and superstructure,and the extent to which its role as a promoter of economic and socialdevelopment is recognized;
the location of the Philippines within one of the planet’s mostactive typhoon, volcanic and earthquake belts: and
almost total dependence on Manila, and the resultingvulnerability to externally and internally produced dislocation.In combination, these factors have produced a modest annual averagegrowth curve, punctuated by long periods of stagnation and decline,followed by brief burst of rapid growth which in fact occurred in 1988 and1989. This pattern of development is highly debilitating not only on theeconomy but also on the industry.The availability of a master plan to guide tourism development on a coursethat minimized the impact of negative factors, while maximizing the positiveand generates a sustainable growth curve, is essential, if the contribution of tourism to national, regional and local development goals and objectives areto be optimized. The main mission of the Master Plan for tourismdevelopment in the Philippines is to provide this course.
CURRENT POSITION OF TOURISM IN THEPHILIPPINES
The tourism sector of the Philippines, which currently caters to the needs of around 1 million foreign and 2 million domestic tourists, is concentratedlargely on the National Capital Region (NCR). It is a relatively small andwell informed market, and responds quickly to adverse news, so that rapidreversals in tourism flows can be experienced. Despite its small scale, its