PH cashes in on tourist arrivals

Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo on Thursday stressed that the agency is now focused on developing a highly-competitive tourism industry and an inclusive, and sustainable growth, even as she disclosed a continued increase in revenues during the last six months of the previous administration.

"We must shoot for the stars and maintain an upward trend in terms of visitor arrivals and revenues, for the benefit of all stakeholders," said Teo, who assumed as Department of Tourism chief July 1st.

She went on to say, "The DOT and the tourism industry stakeholders will collectively work to increase revenues from P2.8 trillion in 2015 to P3.9 trillion by 2022. From the current 8.2 percent share of the country's GDP, we'll raise it to 10 percent by 2022."

Teo noted that, despite being endowed with world-class tourist attractions, the Philippines lags behind Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and even Vietnam in terms of visitor arrivals as of 2015.

She said the agency targets to attract international visitors, from a total of 5.4 million in 2015 to 12 million by 2022, as well as generate domestic tourists from 68 million in 2015 to 89 million in 2022.

The DOT chief made the assertions as she disclosed that international tourist arrivals generated P127.37 billion in revenues within the first six months-period of the year, a 14.7 percent increase compared to the same period in 2015 of P111.05 billion.

At least 2,978,438 overseas visitors came in January to June period, 13 percent higher than the 2,619, 625 arrivals in the first six months last year.

There were 459,138 visitor arrivals in June alone before the Duterte administration took office.

The double-digit gain in income resulted from the average daily expenditure of P5,179.86 per visitor or

average per capita expenditure of P49,519.49 for an average length of stay of 9.56 nights.

Visiting Koreans, numbering to 686,118, spent about P6.47 billion for the month of June alone.

In second place are 454,170 visitors from the USA with P3.80 billion expenditure; 340, 958 visitors from China spent P3.53 billion; 260, 656 Japanese visitors registered receipts of P1.20 billion; and 126, 209 Australian, with PhP 0.87 billion.

Source: Philippine Information Agency