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Sunday, December 3, 2023

Foreign tourists in PH surpassed 4m in 9 months

International Tourism receipts reached P344 billion from January to September this year, as arrivals topped the 4-million mark, Department of tourism Secretary Christina Frasco said Tuesday.

Data showed that international visitor arrivals reached 4,066,741 tourists in the nine-month period, representing 84.72 percent of the 4.8 million baseline target for 2023.

Frasco presented the new industry data at the Senate hearing for the proposed 2023 budget of the DOT.

The tourism chief said the sector is the second top driver of economic growth in the first semester of 2023, with its share to the gross domestic product (GDP) at 6.2 percent.

Tourism receipts in 2022 reached P1.87 trillion, with local tourism accounting for the biggest share of P1.5 trillion, while foreign travel receipts was at P387 billion.

Arrivals in 2022 reached 2.65 million, or only half of the total arrivals in the first three quarters of 2023.

Frasco said inbound flight frequencies in the first half surged by 180 percent at Clark International Airport, 640 percent at Kalibo International Airport, 300 percent at Cebu International Airport, 200 percent at Bohol International Airport and 50 percent at Davao International Airport.

The recent statistics released by the Official Airline Guide showed the Philippines departing seats reached 4.2 million as of September, or equivalent to 90 percent recovery from 2019 statistics.

Cruise tourism is also on the rebound as the DOT said about 121 port calls are scheduled to resume operations in more than 30 island destinations, which would bring in more than 110,000 tourists.

Frasco said the 2024 DOT budget would help sustain training for Filipino brand of service excellence which trained 92,173 Filipinos engaged in the tourism sector.

She said the DOT would sustain the efforts to establish more tourist rest areas and assistance call centers in 2024.

“Under the DOT, we propose to build tourists emergency centers in densely-populated key tourism areas in the country,” she said.

She also revealed plans to expand the Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tours for both local and foreign tourists to boost travel.

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