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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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Inside the 5 Families Who Hold a Tight Grip on Philippines Tourism: A handful of families in the Philippines controls 70 percent of the Philippines’ tourism industry, owning key travel infrastructure such as airlines, hotels, resorts, shopping malls, and tourist attractions. Is that tight control a formula for future success?
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Hotel Budget Brand RedDoorz Captures Another $70 Million in Funding: The super-budget accommodation sector in Southeast Asia has so much potential. That’s old news. What’s new is super investors have finally warmed up to the idea and are backing RedDoorz in the face of Oyo’s entry into the region.
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Why Is the U.S. Never Deemed ‘Unsafe’ as a Travel Destination? In the wake of a tragedy, destinations are hugely beholden to the public perception of how safe it is to travel there, regardless of the reality on the ground. But the United States — which has experienced more mass shootings than there are days in 2019 — is unfairly exempt from that struggle.
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Asia Editor Raini Hamdi [email@example.com] curates the Skift Asia Weekly newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Wednesday.