The Aquino administration aims to attract high-yield tourist markets to achieve its revenue goal by 2016, as a high-ranking official of the Tourism Department said over the weekend.
Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. said the agency was focusing on the revenue goal as the tourist arrival target was unlikely to be achieved next year.
“Realistically, we are looking at six million tourists, that would be a more realistic figure,” Bengzon said. The government targets 10 million tourist arrivals by 2016.
Bengzon said the agency was putting more emphasis on going after the high-yield tourist markets, which include Middle East, Russia and Europe and Southeast Asia and Japan.
These markets were spending about $1,000 per visit in the Philippines, Bengzon added.
He said the government was looking at a total revenue of $6 billion to $8 billion next year.
The Tourism Department is expecting a 10 percent to 12 percent growth in tourist arrivals this year. The Philippines recorded a total of 4.83 million tourist arrivals in 2014.
About 1.82 million inbound visitors arrived in the Philippines in the first four months of the year, up 7 percent from 1.7 million year-on-year.
Visitor arrivals in April totaled 423,366, up 9.5 percent from 386,665 on year.
Korea remained the top contributor with 451,945 arrivals for a market share of 24.9 percent and a growth rate of 20.8 percent.
The United States ranked second with 283,577 visitors, accounting for 15.6 percent and posting a growth rate of 6.22 percent against arrivals in the same period a year ago.
Japan ranked third with 167,602 and a market share of 9.23 percent.
China placed fourth with 126,293 visitors for 7 percent, while the fifth major inbound market to the country was Australia with 83,573 arrivals and a share of 4.6 percent.
Rounding up the top ten visitor markets are Canada with 60,746 arrivals; Singapore, 60,032; Taiwan, 55,572; United Kingdom, 54,116; and Malaysia, 50,425.
Revenues from tourism activities of international visitors grew 2.8 percent to P77.14 billion in the first four months of the year from P75.03 billion recorded last year.
Visitor receipts in April amounted to P18.18 billion, expanding 4.8 percent compared with the previous year’s earnings of P17.34 billion.
The average daily expenditure of international visitors for the month of April 2015 was recorded at P4,675.42.