Tourism boost to economy jumps to 12.7% of GDP

THE tourism industry’s contribution to the economy has increased to 12.7% of the Philippines’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the Department of Tourism (DOT) said yesterday.

Citing the data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) last June 6, the DOT said the increase in 2018 was 0.5% higher than in 2017, which was recorded 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, the DOT said.

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.