The Department of Tourism (DoT) said the tourism industry generated P404.02 billion in revenue in the first 10 months, after over 4.63 million foreign tourists visited the Philippines.
Tourism revenue for the period grew 190% from a year earlier, it said.
The international visitors are equivalent to “96% of our target,” Tourism Secretary Esperanza Christina G. Frasco said, adding that projected revenue over the full year is $7 billion.
Ms. Frasco was speaking at the 2023 Philippine Economic Briefing in California on Wednesday.
This year, the DoT is targeting 4.8 million international arrivals. Last year, the industry generated the equivalent of 6.2% of gross domestic product.
Ms. Frasco said the key to unlocking tourism’s potential is addressing challenges in infrastructure, connectivity and digitalization.
“We have engaged in a collaboration with the Department of Public Works and Highways for the purpose of continuing the tourism road infrastructure program. 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 at a panel discussion.
She added that DoT is also collaborating with the Department of Transportation not only for hard infrastructure investment but also for human capital development.
“We have trained frontline tourism workers in our airports and seaports in the Filipino Brand of Service Excellence. This program, as a whole, has trained over 111,000 workers across the tourism value chain,” Ms. Frasco said.
Meanwhile, she said the department is also counting on the construction of five cruise terminals in the coming year. — Justine Irish D. Tabile
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The article was originally published in Business Mirror.