The tourism industry’s contribution to the economy reached another milestone in 2018 as it increased to 12.7% of the Philippines’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 0.5% higher than in 2017, according to the data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) last June 6. This is in spite of the six-month closure of Boracay island, one of the country’s major tourist destinations.
The Tourism Direct Gross Value Added (TDGVA), an indicator that measures the value added of the tourism industry, amounted to PHP 2.2 trillion, which is an increase of 14.3% from the 2017 TDGVA of PHP 1.9 trillion.
Employment in the tourism industry also rose to an estimated 5.4 million, 1.8% higher than the 5.3 million in the previous year.
The number of domestic tourists reached 110 million, which is an increase of 14.1% 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% at PHP 3.2 trillion, compared to the PHP2.6 trillion in 2017.
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.
“These achievements in the tourism industry are a result 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”, remarked Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.
“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.