Philippine tourism has come a long way, particularly inbound tourism for the last ten years. Foreign tourist arrivals back in 2008 were only about 2.9 million, and ten years later, it reached 6.5 million arrivals in 2017. Of all the foreign source countries of tourist arrivals, China was one of the leading countries next to South Korea, which accounted for around 21.7 percent of the total foreign tourists in 2019.
The gross value added generated from the industry is one of the key figures that determine the Philippine economy. Expenditures for internal tourism was valued at approximately 3.6 trillion Philippine pesos in 2018. Of all the spending on tourism, 18.92 percent was accounted for accommodation services, and food and beverages came second. Within local households, expenditures for restaurants and hotels amounted to 292.4 billion Philippine pesos as of 2019.
The increasing demand for tourism brought approximately 11 billion worth of investments for accommodation and food service activities in 2017. Overnight travelers helped the demand on accommodation establishments, where domestic travelers led overnight stays with a record of 45 million in 2018. In the same year, the industry’s share of the total employment in the Philippines was about 13 percent.