This amount is from foreign visitor receipts from January to October 2023.
Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco showcased the country’s tourism gains and noted that the tourism industry has contributed an estimated $7 billion or about P404.02 billion in foreign visitor receipts in the first 10 months of 2023. The tourism earnings are 190% higher compared to the $2.47 billion or P138.46 billion in estimated visitor receipts recorded last year.
Secretary Frasco announced this as she joined the economic team of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at the 2023 Philippine Economic Briefing (PEB) on Nov. 15 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in San Francisco, California. “We have received over 4.63 million international visitors which constitutes 96% of our entire year’s target, contributing over $7 billion to our economy,” Frasco said.
She also noted that the country’s tourism is the second top economic driver for the Philippines in the first half of 2023. Last year concluded with tourism contributing 6.2% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Over 2.65 million foreign visitors visited the country, while 102 million domestic trips were recorded, resulting in more than 5.35 million persons employed in tourism industries.
“The Department of Tourism marks 50 years of bringing the world’s attention to the immense beauty of our country, where tourism is a unifying force for good, and has emerged as one of the strongest pillars of our economy post-pandemic.”
During the panel discussion with the country’s economic managers, the tourism chief likewise shared how the goal of transforming the Philippines into a tourism powerhouse in Asia is being materialized by the DOT as infrastructure investments are prioritized.
“We’ve engaged in a collaboration with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for the purpose of continuing the tourism road infrastructure program, and as a result of that, over 158 kilometers of tourism roads have been constructed or rehabilitated this year, with more to come in 2024 and in succeeding years,” she said.
In improving connectivity and tourist convenience, the DOT is also collaborating with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) not only for hard infrastructure investments but for soft infrastructure or human capital development. This includes the “Filipinization” of the country’s airports and seaports, starting with the enhancement of Terminal 2 of the country’s main gateway, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
The DOT has initiated the building of initial 10 tourist rest areas (TRA) in strategic locations across the country, with 18 more to come to enhance the overall tourist experience. Moreover, the Philippines is expected to build five cruise terminals in the coming year, a project that the DOT actively supports under the auspices of the DOTr and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), according to the Secretary.