Work is under way to restore many of the Spanish colonial-era churches around the Philippines as the government tries to lure Catholics from overseas. I contributed to an article ‘Dear God, please send the Philippines some tourists‘ in the South China Morning Post on April l8th, 2018.
Faith based tourism in the Philippines is largely domestic and diaspora based. It is hard to imagine them attracting many long-haul visitors,” says Dr Michael O’Regan, a senior lecturer at Bournemouth University who has conducted research on tourism to and across Southeast Asia.
Nevertheless, the government has an incentive to put resources toward maintaining and improving religious sites, O’Regan argues.
“Church restoration is important, given the religious make-up of the country, and has strong local support, so it’s not a lost investment,” he says.