Nikkei Asia photo courtesy

In 2022, the number of visitors to the Philippines exceeded 2 million, according to the Department of Tourism (DoT).

This figure represents a significant increase compared to the 163,879 visitors recorded in 2021, which saw a decline due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The surge in arrivals accounted for an impressive growth rate of 1,519.40 percent. The 2022 Tourism Industry Report reveals that 56.49 percent of visitors come to the Philippines for pleasure and vacation, while 25.46 percent visit friends and relatives, and 8.75 percent travel for business purposes.

Among the top countries of origin, the United States contributed the highest number of visitors with 505,089, followed by South Korea with 428,014 visitors, and Australia with 137,974 visitors.

As tourism flourished, employment in the sector also rose to 9.3 percent, with 5.3 million individuals being employed in 2022, surpassing the 4.9 million employed in 2021, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco acknowledged the significant contributions made by the Department of Tourism and its partners in achieving these remarkable numbers. She emphasized that the data and facts speak for themselves, reflecting the dedicated work, service, and sacrifices of all those involved in promoting Philippine tourism.

The PSA, as a key player in the Philippine Statistical Development Program (PSDP), presented the 2022 Philippine Tourism Satellite Accounts (PTSA) following international guidelines set by the United Nations World Tourism Organization and UN Statistics Division.

The PTSA and Tourism Statistics Dissemination Forum, jointly organized by the PSA and the DoT, serve as platforms to present the current state of the Philippine tourism industry to stakeholders and the general public. The forums aim to highlight the considerable contribution of the tourism industry to the Philippine economy, covering topics such as the industry’s contributions to the national and global gross domestic product (GDP) and the growth of tourism expenditures.

In 2022, the Tourism Direct Gross Value Added (TDGVA) contributed an estimated 6.2 percent to the Philippine economy as measured by the GDP, an increase from 5.2 percent in 2021. Globally, Philippine tourism accounted for 7.6 percent of the world’s GDP. The TDGVA reached P1.38 trillion in 2022, representing a 36.9 percent increase compared to P1 trillion in 2021.

In terms of tourism expenditures, inbound tourism expenditure experienced the highest growth in 2022, rising from P27.63 billion in 2021 to P368.67 billion. Inbound tourism expenditure encompasses the spending of nonresident visitors, including Filipinos residing overseas, within the Philippines. It also contributed 5.9 percent to the country’s total exports, ranking fifth among the largest export items in 2022.

On the domestic front, domestic tourism expenditure, covering the spending of resident visitors within the country, grew by 92.3 percent. The expenditure reached P1.50 trillion in 2022, up from P782.57 billion in 2021.

Angara supports Frasco amid ‘Love the PH’ controversy

In light of recent controversies surrounding the “Love the Philippines” campaign by the DoT, Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara expressed his support for Tourism Secretary Frasco, emphasizing that her efforts in promoting the country should not be overshadowed.

Angara praised Frasco for her prompt action in terminating the contract with the advertising agency responsible for the campaign, ensuring no public funds were wasted. He credited Frasco’s leadership in revitalizing the tourism industry after the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Angara also highlighted the recognition received by the Philippines in the World Travel Awards Asia, where the country receivedIn 2022, the Philippines witnessed a significant rise in visitor arrivals, surpassing 2 million, as reported by the Department of Tourism (DoT). This figure marks a substantial increase compared to the 163,879 visitors recorded in 2021, a year heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Senator Maria Lourdes Nancy Binay acknowledged the actions taken by the DoT but expressed concerns about the future of the “Love the Philippines” campaign and its impact on tourism. She emphasized the importance of maintaining a positive image and reputation in the competitive tourism market.