The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is lobbying the Philippine Government to implement smarter policies in relation to its tourism industry.

Citing an imperative to improve airport infrastructure and keep aviation taxes to a minimum, IATA believes that without these changes the Philippines will struggle to keep pace with the growing demand for tourism to the country and ultimately lose out on much-needed economic investment.

“Aviation is vital to the Philippines…international links keep businesses connected and brings in tourists,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and ceo.

“The social and economic benefits of air transport are at risk if the key issues of airport infrastructure, excessive regulation and taxation are not addressed.”

Specifically, the IATA is asking the government to address deficiencies at Ninoy Aquino International Airport which was originally constructed to handle 30 million passengers, however, is currently beyond capacity at 40 million due to a growing tourist trade.

The issues, said IATA, can be fixed through a 10-year development project that will expand the airport’s runway and terminal capacity.

The other area under the spotlight is a proposed ‘Green Fee’ that the Philippine Government is considering implementing.

The Philippines should “avoid implementing a tourism tax” and instead focus on nurturing investment in the industry and “encourage people to visit,” claimed de Juniac.

“The extra tourist dollars you attract will pay for the investments and make a greater economic contribution.”


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