Domestic tourism leading the industry in times of uncertaintyAs several international borders remain closed for foreign travelers for much of 2020 and 2021, the Philippine tourism department focused on boosting domestic tourism to ease the impact of the pandemic on the tourism sector. Together with the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), these agencies spearheaded the “It’s More Fun with You” campaign to encourage Filipinos to travel locally to boost the sector’s recovery. Focusing on sustainable tourism development models, the campaign successfully accelerated the demand for domestic tourism in 2021, with domestic tourism expenditures posting an increase of about 39 percent compared to the previous year.
Meanwhile, inbound tourism drastically suffered in 2021, reporting its lowest tourist arrivals in the past decade – even lower than the arrival figures in 2020. Consequently, inbound tourism expenditures were at their lowest value in 2021. That year, the United States, Japan, and China were the leading markets for inbound travel to the Philippines.