Department of Tourism Aims for 7.7M Foreign Visitors by 2024

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The Department of Tourism (DoT) has announced its ambitious goal of attracting 7.7 million international visitors to the Philippines by 2024. Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco expressed her optimism for the industry, citing the success of 2023, which saw over 5 million international visitor arrivals and generated more than P480 billion in international tourism revenue.

According to DoT statistics, a total of 5,450,557 international visitors entered the country from January 1 to December 31, 2023. Foreigners accounted for the majority of these arrivals, making up 91.80 percent or 5,003,475 visitors. This figure surpassed the country’s target of 4.8 million international visitors for the entire year by approximately 650,000.

South Korea maintained its position as the primary source of international visitors, accounting for 1,439,336 visitors or 26.41 percent of the total. The United States, Japan, Australia, and China followed suit. Other significant markets for international visitors included Canada, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Malaysia.

Secretary Frasco emphasized that the department’s goals extend beyond the number of international visitor arrivals. She stated, “Since we took office, we have set our goals for the industry not only in terms of international visitor arrivals but, most importantly, the number of Filipinos, including their families, who will benefit from the opportunities generated by our constant and continuous efforts to make the industry prosper more than what we have aimed for.” The department remains committed to making tourism a catalyst for economic growth and resurgence, in line with the administration’s vision.

The recovery of the tourism sector has been faster than anticipated. Estimated revenue from foreign tourists in the country reached P482.54 billion between January 1, 2023, and December 31, 2023, reflecting a remarkable 124.87-percent increase compared to the P214.58 billion in estimated visitor receipts during the same period the previous year. Furthermore, the Philippines has recovered to nearly 66 percent of the 2019 all-time high in foreign tourist arrivals.

Secretary Frasco commended the performance of the tourism industry under the Marcos administration, stating, “These numbers speak very well of the performance of the tourism industry under the Marcos administration.” The positive growth and recovery of the industry indicate the successful implementation of strategies and initiatives to attract international visitors.

The Department of Tourism’s goal of 7.7 million international visitor arrivals by 2024 demonstrates its commitment to the growth and development of the Philippine tourism industry. With a focus on both visitor arrivals and the economic benefits for Filipinos, the department aims to make tourism a key driver of economic growth and prosperity. The remarkable recovery and increased revenue from foreign tourists highlight the resilience and potential of the Philippine tourism sector.

Source: The Manila Times

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