DOT: Philippine tourism industry outlook is positive

LONDON, United Kingdom – The Philippines is ready to receive more tourists as the outlook for Philippine tourism remains positive, with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. making it a priority of his administration.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Frasco assured tourism ministers and international travel and tourism executives during the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Aligned Advocacy Dinner on Nov. 7 at the One Great George Street in London.

“Prior to my assumption on June 30th, the projections were that the Philippines will receive 1.7 million tourists by the end of this year. Since we have begun with all the programs and plans of the Marcos administration, we have far surpassed this goal,” Frasco said in her message.

Based on the DOT’s latest data on November 7, the number of tourist arrivals in the Philippines has already hit 1.9 million.

“Driving our economic recovery are no other than the Filipino people. We have a young and well-trained workforce who are  kind and gentle, and who also courageous and eager,” Frasco added.

She also shared some of the steps being undertaken by the Philippine government and the DOT to sustain the positive trajectory of tourist arrivals in the country.

“By way of the President’s issuing of an Executive Order to lift the prohibition on the entry of unvaccinated foreigners, our guests are just now required to show a negative antigen test should they wish to come to the Philippines,” Frasco said.

She said the DOT is set to launch overwintering packages developed together with travel agencies that “showcase not only our idyllic islands and charming destinations, but also many thematic adventures for the picking, from luxury trips to family vacations, unique Filipino wellness experiences, to colorful cultural immersions, discovering the underwater world through diving exhibitions, and discovering our flavors through food trips.”

Another initiative, she shared, is the Philippine Cultural Heritage and Arts Caravan, which will give tourists a chance to go around the Philippines and view how beautiful the country’s destinations are through its festivals, food, products, and the warmth of Filipinos.

“As we approach the end of 2022 and the new year ahead, we look to the future with optimism and hope. Grateful for your friendship, for your continued interest in the Philippines, knowing fully well that with the strength of spirit of the Filipino people, there’s so much to look forward to. I invite you all to come to the Philippines and feel the warmth of the Filipino people,” Frasco said.

Earlier, Frasco led Philippine tourism players in formally opening the Philippine Pavilion at the World Travel Market (WTM) 2022 in ExCeL, London, to convey the country’s openness to tourism and business opportunities at the global travel and trade meet.

She expressed confidence in the prospects of the Philippines at the WTM 2022, saying that the country continues to be a top-of-mind destination.

“Only in the Philippines can you find three of the top 25 best islands in the world: Cebu, Palawan, and Siargao. Only in the Philippines can you find one of Time Magazine’s 50 Best Places of the Year: Boracay… Recently, we were chosen as Asia’s Leading Dive Destination, Asia’s Leading Beach Destination, and Asia’s Leading Tourist Attraction,” she added.

Philippine companies from the travel and tours, hotel, and dive sectors make up the Philippine contingent to the WTM 2022 London, an annual event that invites the biggest names and brands in the travel and related sector.

WTM London is a global travel and tourism event where the biggest names in the industry from every sector and every background can connect and network with each other and find new ways to grow and develop their business. (PNA)