The DOT foresees a robust recovery for the country’s tourism industry, underpinned by the encouraging figures in the Philippine Tourism Satellite Accounts (PTSA) for 2022 as compiled by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
In a recent media release issued by the PSA, the Tourism Direct Gross Value Added (TDGVA) share of the sector to the Philippine economy, as measured by the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), was estimated at 6.2 percent for 2022.
Further, the TDGVA last year amounted to PHP 1.38 trillion, which is 36.9 percent higher compared with the PHP 1.00 trillion in 2021. Meanwhile, internal tourism expenditure, which combines inbound and domestic tourism expenditure, also saw a significant increase last year, tallying PHP1.87 trillion in 2022, which is a 131.2 percent growth from the PHP 810 billion in 2021.
Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco welcomed the optimistic figures and noted the commitment of the DOT to sustain last year’s gains through its seven-point agenda to be pursued under the Marcos administration.
“We are elated and inspired by the figures enclosed in the 2022 Philippine Tourism Satellite Accounts,” said Secretary Frasco. “We ascribe last year’s gains, foremost, to our President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., whose clear vision and confidence in the tourism industry sparked a strong sense of inspiration and urgency for the DOT, and all players that make up the tourism value chain–our national and local government partners, and tourism stakeholders in the private sector–to work together. This whole-of-government approach to tourism allowed the Philippines to achieve great heights less than a year into office. As we continue to ride the wave of travel resurgence coming out of the pandemic, we in the DOT acknowledge the need for initiatives that will make the Philippine tourism industry sustainable, resilient, and top-of-mind for the next several years.”
The 2022 PTSA showed that inbound tourism expenditure posted the highest growth out of the different forms of tourism expenditure, registering PHP 368.67 billion last year compared with PHP 27.63 billion in 2021, or a growth rate of 1,234.2 percent.
Inbound tourism expenditure, which refers to the expenditure of non-resident visitors or those foreign and Filipinos permanently residing abroad, contributed 5.9 percent to the country’s total exports in 2022, compared to 0.6 percent share in 2021.
Domestic tourism on the rise
With domestic tourism expenditure in 2022 reaching PHP 1.50 trillion, or a 92.3 percent growth from the PHP 782.57 billion in 2021, the DOT chief stressed on the importance of further boosting the country’s domestic tourism.
Domestic tourism expenditure, or expenditure of resident visitors within the Philippines either during domestic trips or as part of their international travel, contributed 9.0 percent to the household final consumption expenditure.
Among the DOT’s initiatives aimed at domestic tourism promotion are the North Luzon Travel Fair last year, Mindanao Travel Expo earlier this year, and the Central Philippines Travel Fair Expo on June 16 inviting key travel and tourism stakeholders from Luzon, Mindanao, and the rest of Visayas to converge in Iloilo.
Apart from continuing existing tourism circuits in regions across the country, the DOT also launched the Philippine Experience: Heritage, Culture and Arts Caravans, a nationwide program across all regions of the country highlighting key, emerging and lesser-known destinations, and featuring various tourism products such as pilgrimage tourism, heritage tourism, food tourism, wellness, and arts and local products of communities and micro, small and medium enterprises.
“One of our objectives to be pursued under the Marcos administration is the maximization of domestic tourism as it has proven a very strong and reliable contributor to the economy”, said Secretary Frasco.
“Through the Philippine Experience Program, our regional expos, fairs, and the like, we intend to generate tourism opportunities by giving our travel and tourism stakeholders opportunities to immerse themselves in other destinations and regions and to come up with tour packages that they can dovetail with their offerings.”
More than 5 million Filipinos were employed in tourism-related jobs in 2022. Further, employment in tourism identified industries was estimated at 5.35 million in 2022, higher by 9.3 percent than the 4.9 million in 2021. The 2022 PTSA also recorded the share of employment in tourism industries to the country’s total employment at 11.4 percent, which increased from the 11.1 percent in 2021.
Under the influence
Last year, the Philippines Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) tapped Japanese influencers to promote the Philippines’ premier tourist destinations.
To revitalize the Philippine tourism industry, TPB Philippines, in partnership with the Philippine Department of Tourism (PDOT) Tokyo, welcomed Japanese influencers to a six-day familiarization tour to two top-notch tourist destinations: Boracay and Manila.
The tour included Fumiya Sankai, a Japanese vlogger, actor, recording artist, and influencer who gained fame when he became the first Japanese official housemate in the Pinoy Big Brother reality show; Kei & Aya, partner influencers who are popular with travel lovers; and video content creators Cotton and Shogo Kokubu who visited and explored the island of Boracay, which was recently hailed as one of the World’s Best Islands, and the City of Manila, named among the world’s best cities according to the data of the Time Out Index 2022.
The Boracay leg highlighted the world-renowned white sand beach as well as the spectacular Boracay sunset viewed while sailing in a paraw boat. Meanwhile in Manila, Japanese influencers got a glimpse of the Metro’s business districts and urban lifestyle.
“From a dazzling sunset paraw sailing experience to adrenaline-pumping water adventure activities, the tropical paradise of Boracay offers a precious retreat to all kinds of travellers. The warm welcome and hospitality of the locals also make for a worthwhile visit to the Philippines,” said Japanese vlogger Fumiya Sankai.
TPB’s hosting of the Trip is part of the agency’s SMARTourism Program that integrates innovation and digitalization in its operations by strengthening its digital presence in collaboration with well-known international influencers.
Sustainability Leader of the Year
TPB recently won big at the TripZilla Excellence Awards 2022 and was named the Sustainability Leader of the Year by the prestigious awards body. TPB Philippines, the marketing and promotions arm of the Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT), topped the polls after extensive online voting.
A new category in the TripZilla Excellence Awards, Sustainability Leader of the Year aims to honour companies and organizations taking strides in responsible tourism. Its addition recognizes the role of industry leaders in minimizing tourism’s negative impact on the social, economic, and environmental landscape of key destinations.
Sustainability remains at the forefront of TPB Philippines’ efforts to promote the Philippines as a world-class travel destination. Through its initiatives in promoting environmental awareness and local-centric experiences, the TPB hopes to develop the country’s thrust of green and sustainable tourism among all stakeholders.
Amid the pandemic, TPB sought to highlight unique cultural activities in the Philippines: batok (traditional tattoos) in Buscalan, Kalinga; hilot (traditional massage) and the annual healing festival on Siquijor Island; and the different forms of textile weaving across the country.
TPB also spearheaded efforts to promote farm tourism in a bid to support local farmers and nature-based adventures in and around Metro Manila. TPB regularly engages with local and foreign explorers to encourage the practice of sustainable behaviour when travelling.
Now in its 8th year, TripZilla Excellence Awards continues to put a spotlight on the trailblazing brands delivering the experiences that travellers love the most. It is organized by TripZilla, a leading online travel media in Southeast Asia with a reach of more than 20 million readers every month. More than a hundred celebrated travel brands nabbed nominations for TripZilla Excellence Awards 2022. Winners were awarded after an extensive online voting process on www.TripZilla.com