Legacy families are a huge part of the economic structure in Asia. Thailand has its Chearavanonts and Chirathivats, Hong Kong its Lees, Kwoks, and Chengs, the Philippines its Tans and Zobels, to name a few.
These days tourism is catching the eye of more wealthy families in the Philippines, thanks to robust growth. Foreign arrivals are expected to reach 12 million by 2022, from 7.1 million last year. Domestic travelers are showing they agree it’s more fun in the Philippines, making 97 millions trips at home last year.
But it’s worrisome to see that more rich families are entering the tourism sector — or want to — as our article below shows. As it is, the industry is already largely controlled by just five of them.
Most Filipinos probably don’t even realize just how extensive the ownership of these families in the tourism business is. Would they even care?
Moreover, many of these magnates are helping to make the Philippines a more attractive destination by building much-needed tourism infrastructure, be it low-cost carriers, affordable hotels, or world-class resorts.
But question Filipinos still must. It’s not fun if the Philippines ends up as the supreme example of how tourism revenues are disproportionately distributed in a country, enriching already fat tycoons while benefiting smaller players and employees only so much.
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Asia Editor Raini Hamdi [email@example.com] curates the Skift Asia Weekly newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Wednesday.