MORE than five million people from other countries in the world have visited the Philippines in 2023, leaving over P480 billion in international tourism receipts, said the Department of Tourism (DOT) on Wednesday, January 3, 2024.
Monitoring data of the DOT revealed that a total of 5,450,557 international visitors entered the country from January 1 to December 31, 2023, of which 91.80 percent or the bulk of international arrivals recorded at 5,003,475 are foreigners.
The remaining 8.20 percent or 447,082 are overseas Filipinos, according to DOT Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco in a statement.
The new record is around 650,000 higher than its target of 4.8 million international visitors projected to visit the country for the entire year.
As to the main source of international visitors, South Korea ranked first in the list, with 26.41 percent of the pie, delivering 1,439,336 foreign tourists in 2023.
The United States came second with 903,299 tourists (16.57 percent) visiting the Philippines, followed by Japan with 305,580 (5.61 percent); Australia with 266,551 (4.89 percent); and China with 263,836 (4.84 percent).
Other foreigners who visited the country from other top source markets after China were from Canada, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Malaysia.
Frasco also said that the country’s local tourism industry is recovering faster than expected.
The Philippines’ international tourism receipts have surged at an estimate of P482.54 billion from January 1 to December 31, 2023.
This is higher by 124.87 percent compared with the P214.58 billion estimated visitor receipts from the same period last year.
In 2019 or pre-pandemic period, the DOT recorded P482.15 billion in international tourism receipts.
The country has also reached an estimated 66 percent recovery rate for its all-time high international visitor arrivals achieved in 2019.
By 2024, the DOT is targeting a baseline target of 7.7 million international visitor arrivals.
“My deepest appreciation goes to every tourism stakeholder, collaborative partner, and passionate contributor who propelled our shared aspirations forward. Under President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s guiding vision and leadership, tourism has become a pivotal force driving our nation's economic resurgence,” said Frasco.
“These numbers speak very well of the performance of the tourism industry under the Marcos Administration. Since we took office, we have set our goals for the industry not only in terms of international visitor arrivals but most importantly, the number of Filipinos, including their families, who will benefit from the opportunities generated by our constant and continuous efforts to make the industry prosper more than what we have aimed for. We assure the President, including our partners from the public and private sectors, that we will continue to realize the vision of this administration to make tourism a catalyst for economic growth and resurgence,” she added. (LMY/PR)