5.4M tourists bring in P482.5-B in 2023

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – International tourist arrivals in the Philippines in 2023 reached 5.45 million generating some P482.54 billion, which was more than double the revenues from 2022.

“This is way beyond what we were expecting,” said Department of Tourism Region 3 director Dr. Richard Daenos at the Kapihan Sa Bagong Pilipinas of the Philippine Information Agency-3 held at the CSFP Giant Lantern and Tourist Information Center on July 9.

Daenos readily credited the post-Covid “revenge travel” as one of the primary causes of the tourism surge. This, even as he admitted that “we have a long way to go, but we are not left behind.”

The DOT, he said, has set a target of 7.7 million international visitors for 2024, nearing the pre-pandemic levels of 8.2 million.
Early 2024 has already seen a 22.86% increase in visitors compared to the same period in 2023, with South Korea, the USA, China, Japan, and Canada being the top source markets, Daenos noted.

The tourism director gave a brief on the National Tourism Development Plan for 2023-2028 that aims “to establish a Philippine tourism industry anchored on Filipino culture, heritage, and identity, and which aims to be sustainable, resilient, and competitive in order to transform the Philippines into a tourism powerhouse in Asia.”

NTDP 2023-2028, he said, centers on a 7-Point Agenda, namely: Improvement of Tourism Infrastructure and Accessibility; Cohesive and Comprehensive Digitalization and Connectivity; Enhancement of Overall Tourist Experience;
Equalization of Tourism Product Development and Promotion; Diversification of Portfolio through Multidimensional Tourism; Maximization of Domestic and International Tourism; Strengthening Tourism Governance through Close Collaborations with National and Local Stakeholders.

Daenos added that the DOT is also guided by three pillars – connectivity, convenience, and equality.

“Each region would have to be really connected not just in terms of infrastructure but much so in its programs.

We have quite a number of programs that not only cater region to region, but another tourism product that will cater to a
convergence of regional activities,” he explained.

He emphasized that Central Luzon tourism is experiencing vibrant growth, thanks to improved land route accessibility and increased air flights through the Clark International Airport’s new passenger terminal, which is envisioned as Asia’s next
premier gateway.

The region, he said, now ranks as the country’s fifth top
destination, attracting tourists primarily from South Korea, China, the USA,Australia, and Japan.

Daenos disclosed that the DOT is bidding for CRK route development qualifications to be shortlisted for 2027, highlighting it as global gateway in the emerging culinary capital in the world.

Key initiatives also include capacity-building activities under the Filipino Brand of Service Excellence (FBSE) program, aiming to train 100,000 tourism professionals in Filipino hospitality in partnership with national agencies, sanggunian kabataan
federations, and private stakeholders.

He added that DOT- 3 is collaborating with the Department of Trade and Industry to develop local products for tourists and with the Philippine National Police for the Tourist-Oriented Police for Community Order and Protection program to ensure visitor safety.

In partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment., DOT is also offering livelihood opportunities through the Trabaho, Turismo, and Asenso! program to assist local job seekers.

“We have also launched the tourism app, which caters to anything you would like to know about a certain destination, tourism enterprises, alongside a call center where immediate concerns within the travel experience can be relayed 24/7,”
Daenos furthered.

The DOT has remained optimistic of gaining higher numbers in tourist arrivals in the future, he said. Punto News Team

The post 5.4M tourists bring in P482.5-B in 2023 appeared first on Punto! Central Luzon.