The Philippines has now welcomed 3.87 million foreign tourists since the start of the year, representing more than 80% of the country’s 2023 target of 4.8 million arrivals, said Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco on Wednesday.
Speaking at the opening of the 2023 Philippine Travel Exchange in Cebu, Frasco revealed there had been 3,877,183 arrivals between 1 January and 19 September 2023, meaning the Philippines is already sitting at 80.8% of the Department of Tourism’s full-year target and on track to comfortably exceed 5 million arrivals.
Revenue generated from tourists during that time were Php316.9 billion (US$5.58 billion), with most coming from South Korea, the United States and Japan, Philippine News Agency reports.
Frasco said the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr was looking to ensure the Philippines is a “tourism powerhouse in Asia” by promoting ecotourism, developing tourism communities nationwide, fostering robust private sector participation to promote heritage protection, diversifying the country’s tourism portfolio and launching other initiatives to benefit tourism stakeholders.
Her comments come despite the Manila-based Asian Development Bank on Wednesday cutting its economic growth projection for the Philippines in 2023 from 6% to 5.7% due to “inflation and global headwinds”.
However, GDP forecasts remain at 6.2% thanks to household consumption and public spending on infrastructure and social services.
“The Philippines’ growth story remains strong despite an expected moderation in 2023,” said ADB Philippines Country Director Pavit Ramachandran. “Public investment and private spending fueled by low unemployment rate, sustained increase in remittances from Filipinos overseas, and buoyant services including tourism will support growth.
“The government’s large infrastructure projects should further stimulate consumption, boost jobs, and spur more investment.”