By Analou De Vera
The tourism industry’s contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has reached 12.7 percent in 2018.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority shows that this figure is 0.5 percent higher compared to 2017, “this is in spite of the six-month closure of Boracay island, one of the country’s major tourist destinations,” the Department of Tourism (DOT) said.
“The Tourism Direct Gross Value Added (TDGVA), an indicator that measures the value added of the tourism industry, amounted to P2.2 trillion, which is an increase of 14.3 percent from the 2017 TDGVA of P1.9 trillion,” the DOT said.
Employment in the tourism industry also rose to an estimated 5.4 million, which is 1.8 percent higher compared to the 5.3 million jobs in 2017.
“The number of domestic tourists reached 110 million, which is an increase of 14.1 percent from the previous year’s figure of 96.4 million. This exceeds the 89.2 million target in 2022 stated in the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP). Domestic tourism expenditure is also up by 21 percent at P3.2 trillion, compared to the P2.6 trillion in 2017,” the DOT stated.
“Based on the Philippine Tourism Satellite Accounts (PTSA) results, it is also estimated that at least two million poor people benefited from the robust growth of tourism compared to original targets from 2016 to 2018. This is in line with the NTDP’s strategic direction on sustainability and inclusive growth,” it added.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said these achievements were results of “a holistic and convergent government.”
“The Build Build Build program of the administration has greatly improved infrastructure and transport connectivity, while the ease of doing business, coupled with a facilitative environment for investments, has boosted both visitor and investor confidence in Philippine tourism,” she said.
“Moreover, these numbers show that the Philippine tourism industry is sustainable; it is an engine for socio-economic growth that provides jobs and income to the country while preserving Filipino culture and tradition as well as conservation of the environment,” she added.