the economy

Press Release published by www.gov.ph
ILLUSTRATOR Kenno Samulde

Tourism has become one of the major economic drivers in the Philippines under the Aquino administration, marked with strong, continued, and uninterrupted growth in both visitor arrivals and receipts. This is amidst various challenges, such as weather disturbances and natural calamities (super typhoons, earthquake) experienced by the country in recent years.

International tourist arrivals posted a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.77% from 2010 to 2015, higher than the 7.76% CAGR achieved in the nine years from 2001 to 2010. International tourist receipts also showed a dramatic increase from P112.55 in 2010 to P227.62B in 2015.

For the year 2015, tourism remained profitable and accounted for an estimated $5.0 billion or P227.62 billion worth of international visitor receipts. This is 5.92% greater than the 2014 total earnings of Php214.88 billion, with the month of December 2015 yielding the peak of all tourism activities at P23.47 billion and the month of September 2015 registering the highest growth of 24.24%.

Korea continued to be the top spending market with visitor spending amounting to P66.55 billion for the year 2015. The United States ranked second with P42.31 billion, followed by Australia with P12.83 billion, overtaking Japan which provided P12.20 billion to take the fourth spot. Completing the top five spending markets is China with visitor spending of P10.19 billion. Moreover, among the top twelve markets of the country, visitors from Canada recorded the highest per capita spending for 2015 with P65,537.00 while visitors from Germany provided the second biggest per capita spending of P58,308.29.

The United States ranked third with per capita spending of P55,808.05. Other top markets with high per capita spending include United Kingdom with P54,912.69; Australia with P53,846.21; and Korea with P48,973.54.
For the year 2015, tourists spend an average of P4,888.82. They also spent heavily last year, with an average per capita expenditure of P48,350.44. Their average length of stay in the country is registered at around 10 nights.

In terms of visitor arrivals, the industry also marked another milestone as, for the first time in history, total inbound tourists surpassed the five million mark, with the Philippines welcoming 5,360,682 visitors in 2015. It posted 10.91% growth from the 4,833,368 foreign visitors recorded in 2014. The strong performance of the industry may be attributed to the aggressive branding and promotional activities launched in key and emerging markets, e.g., Visit the Philippines Year (VPY) 2015, destination-based marketing materials, introduction of new and exciting destinations/products offered, influx of visitors during the Christmas holidays, and hosting of major international events such as the visit of Pope Francis, APEC 2015 meetings, Madrid Fusion Manila, Iron Man challenge, among many others.

“Our VPY 2015 campaign and destination-based marketing materials helped in increasing awareness and generating a positive performance, while our market development efforts served to ensure that this growth will be sustained year on year. The strategies outlined in the country’s National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) 2011-2016 have enabled us to stay on focused in improving the sector’s competitiveness and in contributing to the country’s overall goal of inclusive growth. More than accounting for a significant share of the country’s Gross Domestic Product, this rapid growth in the industry is allowing decent jobs and livelihood for many Filipinos. For 2015, tourism employment is estimated at 4.99 million with a share of 12.7% to national employment, already representing 4.8% growth from 2014,” Tourism Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. said.

Secretary Jimenez added, “At the rate that the industry is growing, tourism has proven that it is an important pillar in the country’s economic growth. More than the industry’s performance in terms of numbers, tourism has proven to be a successful means to spread the growth of the country to various sectors, from the protection of the environment to the emergence of local businesses, the development of infrastructure, and the preservation of our cultural heritage.”

Korea is the biggest source market with the year 2015 marking another milestone by providing 1.34 million visitors – the first country market to surpass the 1.3 million mark – accounting for 25% of total arrivals and posting a significant growth of 13.97%. Since 2012, Korea has remained consistent in producing more than a million arrivals to the country. The United States of America supplied the 2nd biggest influx of tourist arrivals with 779,217 visitors, with a 14.54% share. Japan claimed the 3rd spot, providing 495,662 visitors and a share of 9.25% to the total. This market grew by 6.88% vis-à-vis its arrivals of 463,744 a year ago. China followed by contributing 490,841 visitors, comprising 9.16% of the total inbound traffic. The 5th major inbound market was Australia with 241,187 arrivals for a 4.5% share. Rounding up the top ten visitor markets are Singapore (+1.16%) with 181,176 arrivals; Taiwan (+24.27%) with 177,670 arrivals; Canada (+8.66%) with 156,363 arrivals; Malaysia (+11.90%) with 155,814 arrivals; and United Kingdom (+15.65%) with 154,589 arrivals.

All top markets sustained positive growth, with Germany reclaiming its position in the top 12 countries after it slid down to India in the previous months. Among the top 12 markets, China was able to post the highest growth of 24.28%, followed by Taiwan with an increase of 24.27%. Other high growth markets are Spain with 24,144 arrivals (+24.76%), New Zealand with 20,579 arrivals (+16.24%), France with 45,505 (+16.84%), Saudi Arabia with 50,884 arrivals (+17.02%), Netherlands with 28,632 arrivals (+13.46%), and Hongkong with 122,180 (+7.08).

“The past five years up to the present has been a story of how the DOT, together with its attached agencies, has achieved an enhanced orientation as the country’s primary marketing and selling unit. Together with the support of both public and private sectors, we were able to transform tourism into a national industry. Indeed, it has been a journey of an entire country working together to make tourism the people’s business,” Secretary Jimenez concluded.

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