The country just really isn't competitive for tourism. I've experienced it when backpacking and taking holidays around Southeast Asia – for most people, it's one of the places they'll visit last, if at all, when they've already done the more convenient mainland and the more tempting and diverse islands of Indonesia.
By the time you get here after all that, the beaches are worse, the taxi drivers ditto, the cities stink, value for money is MUCH worse on accommodation and food (say goodbye to cheap and cheerful street eats), and there's a noticeable lack of culture – instead of the appealing 'exotic,' you see cheap and nasty replicas of Spanish churches and American fast food.
When researching and getting ideas for my trips along the way, the Philippines was hardly represented in books and websites I came across featuring the purported best sights/trips/foods of Asia / the world (a book of 1000 foods to eat before you die didn't even mention it. Quite an achievement!) Sometimes they'd give a shout-out to Taal volcano, the Chocolate Hills or the rice terraces, but it's mainly for variety.
I've written literally thousands of web pages and articles for travel companies over the last six years, but never once have I been asked to write a single page on the Philippines. Some of those companies do offer Philippines packages, but presumably most customers know what they're going there for and the companies are a bit too respectable to promote *that.*
Promoting the Philippines tourism industry helps the economy, but it does also mean fooling visitors into spending their holiday somewhere they might not enjoy that much.
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