The holidays delivered further gains for the Philippine tourism industry as it breached its 1.7-million target with 2.65 million international arrivals as of the end of 2022.
The arrivals translated to PHP208.96 billion or USD3.68 billion in tourism revenues, a whopping 2,465.75-percent increase from 2021, according to a news release on Monday.
Based on the monitoring of the Department of Tourism (DOT) from the time the country reopened its borders to all travelers in February until Dec. 31, 2022 arrivals peaked in December as more Filipinos and tourists alike opted to spend the Christmas and New Year vacations in the Philippines.
Of the total 2.65 million international arrivals last year, 628,445 were returning Filipinos while the bulk of 2.02 million tourists were from top markets United States (505,089), South Korea (428,014), Australia (137,974), Canada (121,413), the United Kingdom (101,034), Japan (99,557), Singapore (53,448), India (51,542), Malaysia (46,805) and China (39,627).
The year just ended likewise generated an estimated 5.23 million tourism-related jobs, 11,989 DOT-accredited tourism enterprises as of Dec. 29, 2022 and 25,770 tourism stakeholders who were trained.
DOT Secretary Christina Frasco was elated over the achievements of the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., just six months into office.
She said the tourism sector’s growth clearly showed the hard work of the entire industry in order to recover from the unprecedented crisis brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Moments of great difficulty are also moments of great opportunity. In the past, we have overcome a global pandemic and survived various calamities. The Philippine tourism industry has managed to exceed expectations and our tourism partners and frontliners continue to offer the best of Filipino grace and hospitality to the world,” Frasco said in a statement.
“We welcome 2023 with gratitude and excitement for Philippine tourism to bounce back stronger than ever. We shall welcome with warmth and that distinct Filipino smile visitors from all over the world as they visit our award-winning beaches, experience the richness of our culture, and enjoy our world-renowned Filipino brand of service excellence,” she added.
Frasco is hopeful that the DOT will surpass its targets anew in 2023.
“We look forward to the continued convergence and collaboration of our tourism stakeholders — travelers, tourism players, national agencies, local government units and host communities — in propelling our industry to the heights of becoming a tourism powerhouse in Asia,” Frasco said. (PNA)