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Souvenir items should be classified as exports Gabor.

Souvenir items should be classified as exports Gabor !-- -- Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - August 27, 2019 - 12:00am MANILA, Philippines Former tourism secretary Mina Gabor is pushing for the reclassification of tourism goods, particularly souvenir items, in a bid to boost tourism export products. In an interview, Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc.

(Philexport) trustee Mina Gabor said souvenirs being bought by foreign tourists have never been registered as tourism export products. "From time immemorial, all these people that have been buying here, we have never registered souvenir as an export statistics.

Only as retail sales," Gabor said. "So we've been losing on the statistical data, where other countries are actually using it," she added.

Gabor also noted that the country is also losing out on potential exports due to the lack of souvenirs in some destinations. "When you look at all the top tourism clusters that are promoted, every single destination of those clusters, have souvenirs content that are not being used," she added.

Based on the 2018 results of the Department of Tourism (DOT)'s visitor sample survey, shopping remained the most common activity by tourists at 38 percent, followed by sightseeing at 30.5 percent. In line with boosting tourism export products, Gabor said Philexport is planning to hold a one-day product development and design clinic aimed at upgrading the country's souvenir products.

Gabor said the Philexport Cebu chapter is also planning to set up a one-stop shopping center for both foreign and domestic tourists. Philexport president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr.

earlier expressed optimism for the tourism sector among service export industries. "We are also rooting for tourism.

Although based only on its growth rate in 2016 to 2017, tourism-related services exports surged by 35 percent, twice that of BPO, emphasizing its potential," Ortiz-Luis said. Philexport said by promoting tourism, it expects to not just allow visitors to see the Philippines as a tourist destination, but to also help reduce poverty and create jobs.

Based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, tourism contributed 12.7 percent to the country's gross domestic product in 2018 at P2.2 trillion. The sector was also responsible for 5.

4 million jobs in the same year.

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Publication:Philippines Star (Manila, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Aug 26, 2019
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