According to Timetric’s report, incidents such as murders, bombings and the kidnapping of local and foreign tourists, along with the country’s troubled political history, have compromised tourist safety. Some countries issued warnings to their residents against visiting the Philippines, following the killing of eight Hong Kong citizens in 2010.
However, the Filipino government has taken steps to ensure the safety of tourists in key destinations. In July 2013, the Philippines National Police set up a tourist police training school. Police officers will undergo a two month training scheme to develop skills for patrolling tourist destinations. This government initiative is expected to help the tourism sector veer away from decline and back on the path to growth. Domestic and inbound tourism is thus expected to expand at respective Compounded Annual Growth Rates (CAGR) of 9.9% and 9.8% up to 2017.
The government is also making promotional efforts and organising events around the world to attract visitors. For example, in June 2013, the Philippine Embassy in Vienna, Austria organised an event to highlight the Philippines’ travel appeal. The event showcased the country’s major tourist destinations, emerging destinations, tourism activities and UNESCO World Heritage sites to Austrian travel agencies and tour operators.