𝘚𝘢𝘯 𝘍𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘴𝘤𝘰, 𝘊𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘢—Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco showcased the country’s tourism gains and recovery efforts post-pandemic, noting that the tourism industry has contributed an estimated USD 7 billion or about PHP 404.02 billion in foreign visitor receipts in the first ten months of 2023.
This amount is around 190 percent higher compared to the USD 2.47 billion, or PHP 138.46 billion in estimated visitor receipts recorded last year.
Secretary Frasco announced the good news as she joined the economic team of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. in heralding the various investment opportunities in the Philippines to the international business community during the 2023 Philippine Economic Briefing (PEB) on Wednesday (local time, Nov. 15) at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in San Francisco, California.
“𝘞𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘦𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳 4.63 𝘮𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘷𝘪𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘴 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘵𝘶𝘵𝘦𝘴 96 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘳𝘦 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳’𝘴 𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘨𝘦𝘵, 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘣𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳 7 𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘜𝘚 𝘥𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘢𝘳𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘰𝘮𝘺,” Secretary Frasco said.
Secretary Frasco also noted that the country’s economic managers have manifested that tourism is the second top economic driver for the Philippines in the first half of 2023.
To note, 2022 concluded with tourism contributing 6.2 percent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Over 2.65 million foreign visitors came to 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,” Secretary Frasco said.
“𝘈𝘴 𝘸𝘦 𝘶𝘴𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘨𝘰𝘭𝘥𝘦𝘯 𝘦𝘳𝘢 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘮, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬 𝘰𝘧 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘗𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘍𝘦𝘳𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘔𝘢𝘳𝘤𝘰𝘴, 𝘑𝘳. 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘳𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘳𝘦 𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯, 𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘭𝘶𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘶𝘣𝘭𝘪𝘤 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘴𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘰𝘳, 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘰𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘨𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴, 𝘢𝘤𝘳𝘰𝘴𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘮 𝘷𝘢𝘭𝘶𝘦 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘪𝘯, 𝘵𝘰 𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘮 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘺. 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘻𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘧 𝘐 𝘮𝘢𝘺 𝘲𝘶𝘰𝘵𝘦 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘗𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘵, 𝘨𝘰𝘦𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘺𝘰𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘤 𝘰𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘫𝘰𝘣𝘴. 𝘙𝘢𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳, 𝘪𝘵 𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘮𝘴 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘦𝘱 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘰𝘧 𝘶𝘴 𝘍𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘰𝘴 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘺,” she added.
𝗖𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗮𝗯𝗼𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗴𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗻𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁’𝘀 𝗶𝗻𝗳𝗿𝗮𝘀𝘁𝗿𝘂𝗰𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗰𝗹𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗿
During the panel discussion of 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, and as infrastructure investments are prioritized through the Marcos Administration’s Build Better More Program.
“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 more importantly, for soft infrastructure or human capital development. This included the “Filipinization” of the country’s airports and seaports, starting with the enhancement of the Terminal 2 of the country’s main gateway, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
“𝘞𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘵𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘮 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘢𝘪𝘳𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘦𝘢𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘍𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘰 𝘉𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘧 𝘚𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘪𝘤𝘦 𝘌𝘹𝘤𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦. 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘮, 𝘢𝘴 𝘢 𝘸𝘩𝘰𝘭𝘦, 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳 111,000 𝘍𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘰 𝘵𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘮 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘢𝘤𝘳𝘰𝘴𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘮 𝘷𝘢𝘭𝘶𝘦 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘪𝘯,” the Secretary added.
The DOT has also 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.
Other cabinet officials who joined the panel were DPWH Secretary Manuel Bonoan, DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista, and Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Raphael Perpetuo Lotilla.
Titled “Think Growth, Think Philippines,” the PEB in San Francisco is one of the activities of the Philippine delegation on the sidelines of President Marcos Jr. ‘s working visit to the United States of America (USA) for the 30th edition of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit. (DOT)