DOT showcases PH tourism during international event in California
MANILA, Philippines — The country showcased its tourism industry in the 2023 Philippine Economic Briefing (PEB) in San Francisco, California, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said on Thursday.
Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco joined the Philippine economic team in heralding the various investment opportunities in the country to the international business community.
In the PEB, Frasco said that the country’s tourism industry has already recorded an estimated P404.2 billion in foreign visitor receipts in the first 10 months of 2023.
According to the DOT, the amount is 190% higher than the P138.46 billion estimated visitor receipts in 2022.
“We have received over 4.63 million international visitors, which constitutes 96 percent of our entire year’s target, contributing over seven billion US dollars to our economy,” the Secretary said.
Frasco also said that the economic managers have manifested that the tourism industry is the second top economic driver for the Philippines in the first half of 2023.
The department noted that tourism contributed 6.2% of the country’s gross domestic product in 2022.
The DOT cited that over 2.65 million foreign visitors came to the country, and 102 million domestic trips were recorded during the year, employing 5.25 million people in the tourism industry.
“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,” Frasco said.
Citing President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. directives, she added that prioritizing tourism goes beyond providing economic opportunities and jobs, as it also stems from Filipinos’ love for the country.
During the panel discussion, the DOT said Frasco further shared transforming the Philippines into a tourism powerhouse in Asia. She said infrastructure investments are prioritized through the administration’s Build Better More program.
“We’ve engaged in a collaboration with the Department of Public Works and Highways 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.
To improve connectivity and tourist convenience, the DOT also said they are collaborating with the Department of Transportation for infrastructure investments and human capital development, such as the “Filipinization” of the country’s ports.
“We have trained frontline tourism workers in our airports and seaports in the Filipino Brand of Service Excellence,” the Secretary added, saying that over 111,000 Filipino workers have been trained.
The DOT said that tourist rest areas are being built in the country, with 10 initially started, and 18 more to come to enhance tourists’ experiences.
According to Frasco, five cruise terminals are also expected to be built next year under the DOTr and the Philippine Ports Authority.
Titled “Think Growth, Think Philippines,” the DOT said that the PEB is one of the Philippine delegation’s activities on the sidelines of the President’s visit to the United States for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit.
The department noted that other cabinet officials who joined the panel discussion were DPWH Secretary Manuel Bonoan, DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista, and Department of Energy Secretary Raphael Perpetuo Lotilla.