THE Philippines has breached its 4.8 million international visitor arrivals target a month before the year ends, Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco announced Tuesday.
Frasco shared the good news before tourism and golf industry leaders and stakeholders during the 1st Philippine Golf Tourism Summit hosted by the Department of Tourism (DOT) at Grand Hyatt Manila. The gathering aims to discuss the challenges, explore and expand the full potential of the Philippine golf tourism industry.
As of November 27, 2023, the country has registered a total of 4,822,530 million visitors who visited the country, with foreign tourists still comprising the bulk of arrivals by 91.88 percent or 4,430,725, the tourism Chief said.
She said “the Department of Tourism targeted 4.8 million international arrivals by the end of 2023. We have now welcomed over 4.82 million international visitors, contributing an impressive PHP404 billion in foreign visitor receipts to date underscoring the value of tourism to our economy. As our President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. has emphasized, tourism is a foundational pillar for the country’s inclusive growth and economic revival. Tourism continues to drive growth and provide income and jobs nationwide. With the implementation of the National Tourism Development Plan 2023 to 2028 approved by President Marcos, we are beginning to see the merits of our strategies towards increasing connectivity, convenience, and equality in tourism development and promotions, as well as the invaluable partnership of our tourism stakeholders in the private sector.”
The remaining 8.12 percent or 391,805 are returning overseas Filipinos, DOT record revealed.
South Korea remains the country’s top source market for foreign arrivals which brought in 1,271,602 tourists or 26.37 percent of the total, followed by the United States of America (USA) with 797,181 (16.53 percent), Japan with 272,735 (5.66 percent), China with 242,107 (5.02 percent), and Australia with 225,464 (4.68 percent) to complete the top five.
Frasco emphasized that the support of the Marcos Administration for the DOT has been very instrumental in translating the targets into achievements.
“I am happy to share with you the report of our national economic managers that manifests that Philippine tourism is the second highest driver of economic growth for the Philippines. This cements our position as one of the strongest pillars of the Philippine economy that employs no less than 5.35 million Filipinos in the tourism industry sector, ensuring jobs, livelihood, and the well-being of communities all over the country,” she added.
The liberalization of visa policies, the building of tourist rest areas, the establishment of the first ever multi-platform tourist call center, the construction of tourism roads, the development of cruise, education, medical, gastronomy, and sports tourism, expansion of dive tourism, and heritage and cultural tourism caravans and all other initiatives that have been lobbied by the DOT to attract visitors also contributed to these achievements, according to the Secretary.