Philippines’ tourism drives economic growth

MANILA, 24 June 2024: The Philippines’ tourism industry has cemented its vital role as a pillar of growth and economic recovery post-pandemic, recording 6.21 million employment for Filipinos in 2023.

It’s an exponential increase, nearing its 6.3 million target employment in tourism for 2028 or almost four years ahead, as cited on the approved National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) 2023-2028. 

This was based on the Philippine Tourism Satellite Accounts (PTSA) of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), which were released last week. 

Specifically, employment in tourism-related industries grew by 6.4%, from 5.84 million in 2022 to 6.21 million in 2023. The percentage share of employment in tourism industries in the country’s total employment last year was also recorded at 12.9%. 

Similarly, tourism posted its highest growth based on the report, with an 8.6% share of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). The Tourism Direct Gross Value Added (TDGVA) amounted to PHP2.09 trillion in 2023, the highest since the PSA began compiling the data in 2000. The figures are higher by 47.9% compared with the PHP1.41 trillion TDGVA in 2022, when it recorded a 6.4% contribution to the GDP. 

The TDGVA refers to the gross value added by tourism industries and other industries of the economy that directly serve visitors.

Meanwhile, based on the PTSA report, domestic tourism expenditure also grew by 72.3% from PNP1.55 trillion in 2022 to PNP2.67 trillion in 2023. 

Among forms of tourism expenditures, inbound tourism expenditure, which refers to the expenditure of non-resident visitors within the Philippines, such as foreign visitors and Filipinos permanently residing abroad, posted a whopping PNP697.46 billion in 2023, the highest to date registering an 87.7% growth from 371.58 billion recorded in 2022, also higher than the PNP600.01 billion in 2019. 

Meanwhile, outbound tourism expenditure posted a 10% \growth rate, from PNP189.29 billion in 2022 to PNP208.25 billion in 2023. Internal tourism expenditure, comprising inbound and domestic tourism expenditure, grew by 75.3%, from PNP1.92 trillion in 2022 to PNP3.36 trillion in 2023.

Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco noted that the new initiatives as well as the continuing yet innovative approaches done by the DOT more than two years since the new administration took office were effective not only in terms of enticing tourists by promotion, but more importantly, making the overall tourism experience worthy of an investment.

These include the flagship projects that were introduced to the public for the first time, such as the establishment of the Tourist Rest Area (TRA) across strategic locations, the launch of the Philippine Experience Programme (PEP) primarily to highlight emerging destinations and offerings, and the opening of the Tourist Assistance Call Center to accommodate all travel-related concerns, and the Tourism Champions Challenge to foster countrywide development of sustainable and resilient tourism infrastructure, among others.

It was also under Secretary Frasco’s helm that the DOT became very proactive in terms of equalizing tourism offerings from gastronomy, dive, film, golf, history, culture, and heritage to medical, as well as the English as a Second Language (ESL) programme.


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