SMEs in Accommodation and Food Sectors Face New Breed of Competition

PHOTO CAPTION: Michelle Tapia, Head of Strategy, Innovation and Transformation at Globe myBusiness talks before SMEs and other stakeholders who attended the Breakthroughs: Tourism conference.

Small and medium enterprises engaged in hotel, bed and breakfast, restaurant, and food service sectors have benefited largely from the continuous growth of Philippine tourism with a rising number of visitors that hit 7.1 million in 2018, up by 7.65% from the previous year. 


However, the sector is facing new challenges from disruptive and technology-based players such as on-demand lodging, short-term rentals and online booking agencies that put local players at risk of competing for tourist dollars.


In a survey conducted by SGS Philippines, it was revealed that there were three main issues that posed a threat to the continued growth of the tourism sector namely: the entry of new players in the market; retention of skilled employees; and the lack of up-to-date marketing competency.


Cognizant of these problems that hounded the tourism stakeholders, Globe myBusiness is empowering the industry, particularly SMEs, through digitalization. This is to help them sharpen their competitive edge against the new entrants, help them understand the causes of attrition so that they can improve their retention rate, and enhance their marketing capabilities to be able to expand their market share and boost their businesses.


As a major provider of basic telecommunications services to the business community, Globe myBusiness positions itself as a partner in the success of SMEs in the tourism industry by providing them with the right technology and digital solutions.


“We are committed to empowering small and medium businesses to thrive despite the challenges they encounter day-to-day by helping them use innovative technologies as a business advantage,” said Michelle Tapia, Head of Strategy, Innovation and Transformation at Globe myBusiness.


“For the tourism industry, we’re not only helping them understand digital disruption but enabling them to take advantage of it in creating the future of travel and tourism through talks on the changes and trends in their business environment and a visioning workshop to create the future of the tourism industry,” she added.


Earlier, Globe myBusiness conducted the Breakthroughs: Tourism conference, which was attended by various tourism stakeholders led by Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.


In her presentation, Puyat said that in 2018, tourism receipts amounted to US$7.8 billion, which was 14.7% higher than the previous year, with the industry contributing 12.2% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). For the same period, employment in tourism was estimated at 5.3 million, or 13.06% of the country’s total employment picture.


Puyat pointed out that all these developments happened despite losing about 500,000 tourists when Boracay, one of the country’s top tourist island destinations, was closed for several months due to rehabilitation.


Aside from Puyat, the conference featured a stellar panel of speakers who discussed various trends in the tourism industry. These include “Regional and Local Trends” by Raoul Villegas, Executive Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers; “Customer Insights” by Gino Borromeo, Chief Strategy Officer, McCann Worldwide Philippines; “Emerging Tech and Tourism” by Alexander de Leon, Head of Product Marketing, Instagram APAC; “Destination Marketing” by Gary Cheng, Destination Marketing Manager, TripAdvisor; “Business Trends” by Desiree Bandal, Head of Government Policy and Government Affairs, AirAsia; and “Sustainability” by Hanniel Almasco, MPM, Environmental Officer, El Nido Resorts and AA Yaptinchay, DVM, Executive Director and Founder, Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines.


The event also included vision-setting exercises to help stakeholders further understand the future of the tourism industry, the challenges they have to face and cope with amid the fast evolution of technology, and the ongoing revolution in the digital world.

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