DOT hits 4.8 million 2023 arrival target before yearend

Rosette Adel - Philstar.com
DOT hits 4.8 million 2023 arrival target before yearend
This undated file photo shows immigration counters at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
The STAR / Rudy Santos, File

MANILA, Philippines — Nearly a month before the year ends, the Philippines has already surpassed its 4.8 million international arrival target for 2023.

This was announced by Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco at the first Philippine Gold Tourism Summit held at the Grand Hyatt Manila on Tuesday.

Based on the data of DOT as of November 27, the country has recorded a total of 4,822,530 million international arrivals. Of these, 4,430,725 or 91.88% are foreign visitors, while 391,805 or 8.12% are returning overseas Filipinos.

The DOT said that bulk of these foreign tourists are from South Korea, registering 1,271,602 visitors or 26.37%.

US is the second top source market for foreign arrivals as it brought 797,181 (16.53%).

Completing the top 5 source market for foreign visitors are Japan with 272,735 (5.66%), China with 242,107 (5.02%) and Australia with 225,464 (4.68%).

Pillar of Philippine economy

Frasco said the international tourists also contributed P404 billion in foreign visitor receipts. She said this underscores the value of tourism to the Philippine economy.

 “As our President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has emphasized, tourism is a foundational pillar for the country's inclusive growth and economic revival,” Frasco said.

“Tourism continues to drive growth and provide income and jobs nationwide. With the implementation of the National Tourism Development Plan 2023 to 2028 approved by President Marcos, we are beginning to see the merits of our strategies towards increasing connectivity, convenience, and equality in tourism development and promotions, as well as the invaluable partnership of our tourism stakeholders in the private sector,” she added.

The tourism chief also said that according to the report of national economic managers, it manifests that “Philippine tourism is the second highest driver of economic growth” for the country.

“This cements our position as one of the strongest pillars of the Philippine economy that employs no less than 5.35 million Filipinos in the tourism industry sector, ensuring jobs, livelihood, and the well-being of communities all over the country,” Frasco added.

 In December last year, Frasco said the agency gave a conservative projection of 4.8 million international visitors as its baseline.

Last year’s expanded target was only 2.4 million international visitors as the country only reopened to foreign tourists on Feb. 10, 2022.

The country registered 8.26 million visitors in 2019, the full year before the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to leading the DOT, Frasco mentioned observing a projection indicating that the Philippines would likely reach its pre-pandemic tourism figures by 2025.

The tourism chief, in December 2022, however, expressed optimism that the country will reach the pre-pandemic record way earlier than 2025.

“And we feel that we would be able to exceed our pre-pandemic numbers way earlier than the 2025 year that was told to us when we assumed office with the improved policies under the Marcos administration,” she said last year. 

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