Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Frasco said Thursday international visitor arrivals reached 3.97 million as of Sept. 27, representing 83 percent of the full-year target of 4.8 million.
Data from the DOT showed that South Koreans topped the list of visitors, accounting for 26 percent of the total. They were followed by American tourists with 16.99-percent share and Japanese travelers with 5.54 percent. Rounding up the top ten markets are China, Australia, Canada, Taiwan, the UK, Singapore and Malaysia.
Frasco expressed optimism that international visitor expenditures would hit or even surpass the projected P325-billion revenues in 2023.
The DOT aims to attract at least 7.7 million tourists in 2024, or nearly double the baseline target for 2023.
The agency also reported that the sector opened over 21,000 new jobs to Filipinos during the Trabaho, Turismo, Asenso job fair. About 89,024 tourism workers were trained under the banner program of Filipino Brand of Hospitality.
Frasco said that as the sector rebounded near pre-pandemic levels, its share to the overall employment rose to 11.4 percent this year, with 93 percent recovery rate from 2019.
The contribution of tourism to the Philippine economy reached 6.2 percent of the gross domestic product in 2022.
Frasco said the approval by Congress of the proposed P2.7 billion budget for DOT next year would help increase visitor receipts to P1.87 trillion, as forecasted in the National Tourism Development Plan 2023-2028 and sustain the 5.35 million jobs contributed by tourism to the economy.