Over 3M tourist arrivals since January 2023

Photo from Ninoy Aquino International Airport
Photo from Ninoy Aquino International Airport

A TOTAL of 3,000,079 visitors from foreign countries have arrived in the Philippines from January 1 to July 19, 2023 and this reflects the “continued recovery and the gains” of the country’s tourism sector, an official said Wednesday, July 19, 2023.

Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco said in a statement that the country’s inbound tourism receipts from January 1 to June 30 also went up to P212,467,522.100.14, which is 502.02 percent higher than the P35,292,495,457.14 tourism revenue generated from the same period last year.

The tourism sector had experienced drought for nearly two years due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

“We are glad to report that in roughly seven months, we have already achieved the three million international visitor mark, reflecting continued robust recovery and the gains of the Marcos administration towards the resurgence of Philippine tourism,” said Frasco.

“Tourism provides employment and livelihood to millions of Filipinos. We are grateful for the renewed interest worldwide in the Philippines which offers a multitude of reasons to love travel across our islands,” she added.

Frasco also expressed gratitude to Filipinos who continue to travel domestically, supporting local communities and families who are all part of the tourism value chain.

Out of the over three million international arrivals, 91.36 percent or 2,740,802 are foreign tourists, while the remaining 8.64 percent or 259,277 are overseas Filipinos.

The country had most tourists from South Korea with 741,658 or 24.72 percent of the total arrivals; 18.35 percent or 550,569 were from the United States; Australia with 146,062 or 4.87 percent; Japan with 143,227 or 4.77 percent; and Canada with 132,018 or 4.40 percent.

Other visitors were from China, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Singapore and Malaysia.

In 2022, the country’s international arrivals reached 2.65 million, surpassing the agency’s target of 1.7 million foreign visitors, which translated to P214 billion or roughly $4 billion in estimated revenues, exceeding the targeted revenue of P155.03 billion by 38.06 percent.

For this year, the DOT’s target for foreign visitors is at 4.8 million, the same level before the Covid-19 pandemic struck the world.

In May, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. approved the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) 2023 to 2028 that aims to transform the country into a tourism powerhouse in Asia.

The plan includes ways to address essential issues of tourism development, such as the development of infrastructure, connectivity, as well as digitalization, the equalization of tourism, development, and promotion, the enhancement of overall tourism experience as well as the strengthening of tourism governance.

Frasco said programs under NTDP will be anchored on Filipino culture, heritage, and identity.

The DOT launched on June 27 its new tourism campaign slogan “Love The Philippines.” (SunStar Philippines)

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