In this peak travel season, among the foreigners exploring the archipelago will be retirees. A recent report said the Philippines has been chosen as one of the top 20 best countries to retire. In the 2017 Global Retirement Index, prepared annually by the publication International Living,
the Philippines ranked 19th.
The index is based on the environment for accommodating retirees, including pension and medical systems. Prices are also generally considered affordable. Only four Asian countries made it to the top 20, but the Philippines ranked behind Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia.
Apart from the cost of living and mild climate, the 20 countries were chosen based on health and welfare systems, entertainment, infrastructure as well as ease of fitting into society, securing an immigration visa and permanent residence.
International Living picks 25 best retirement havens annually, collating inputs from its editorial staff, contributors and contacts around the world. Mexico, Panama and Ecuador topped this year’s list.
Retiring abroad is gaining popularity among Americans, according to the publication. Countries such as Panama see a growing market and are actively courting retirees through measures such as easier residency visa requirements and discounts on a wide range of items including airfare and accommodations. Retirees from different countries are among the top clients for medical tourism in Asia. Malaysia got high marks for medical tourism, and Thailand is competing for a bigger share of the market.
The Philippines, which is trailing most of its Southeast Asian neighbors in tourist arrivals, already has in place numerous benefits and programs for senior citizens. English is widely spoken, the cost of living is competitive compared with neighboring countries, and the weather is kind to the elderly. Health facilities can be expanded to boost medical tourism. Relevant agencies must seize the opportunity and work with the private sector to lure more retirees. The country is in a position to compete more aggressively for a larger share of this market.
Source By http://www.philstar.com