MICRO, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are seen to play a vital role in contributing to the recovery of the tourism sector of the Philippines this year.

With this, incentives are waiting for the entrepreneurs who will apply for programs promoting their growth under the Department of Tourism (DOT).

Tourism Secretary Cristina Frasco said on Saturday, May 6, 2022, during the Go Negosyo Tourism Summit held at the SM Seaside Cebu that MSMEs have an integral role in the country’s tourism value chain.

This is why MSMEs were specifically mentioned in two of the seven main objectives of DOT addressing the challenges in the tourism and hospitality sector: the “Enhancement of Overall Tourist Experience” and “Equalization of Tourism Product Development and Promotion.”

Frasco reiterated that under the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) 2023-2028, DOT will improve national accreditation standards and will also give incentives to tourism enterprises that “apply sustainable development principles, introduce Filipinization in their establishments, and who will institute programs that specifically help MSMEs grow.”

DOT aims to balance the development and expansion of the country’s tourism not limiting to key areas and well-known destinations, rather it includes the countryside and lesser-known tourist destinations.


Frasco said tourism contributed 12.9 percent to the country’s gross domestic product in 2019, while the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) said the number was higher at 22.5 percent, taking into consideration the indirect contribution of the informal sector.

In 2022, tourism provided jobs to 5.2 million Filipinos, surpassing the target of 4.9 million, which is attributed to the huge influx of international arrivals reaching 2.65 million, or 54.07 percent more than the target of 1.72 million as the country re-opened to tourism in February last year.

Tourism also contributed P1.784 trillion to the Philippine economy in 2022, Frasco said.

As of May 5, 2023, international visitors have already reached 1,914,301 and more are expected to visit the country for the rest of the year.

Frasco expects a 100 percent tourism recovery this year and Cebu will be one of the biggest contributors, particularly in domestic tourism.

“The Department of Tourism is banking on the strength of our micro, small and medium enterprises to augment these figures because ultimately, the success of our MSMEs is the success of the Philippines,” said the tourism secretary.

Tourism Summit

The Go Negosyo Tourism Summit 2023 aimed to provide networking opportunities and business coaching activities for MSMEs and institutionalize the perspective both from the international, the local government, and also the private sector in improving tourism entrepreneurship.

Joining Frasco in the Tourism Summit 2023 were Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion, and other tourism stakeholders.

The summit was the second event organized by the Philippines Center for Entrepreneurship (Go Negosyo) since 2019.

Dialogues and insights on the future of tourism and the economic opportunities it brought were discussed, primarily focusing on the role of MSMEs in the country’s economic recovery through the tourism industry.