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Tourism industry in the Philippines - statistics & facts

Home to white-sand beaches and hospitable people, the Philippines is a tourism-dependent economy. In earlier years, tourism contributed over 10 percent to the country’s gross domestic product. However, with the closure of international borders and nationwide lockdowns, the tourism sector’s direct gross value added plunged by nearly half in the past two years. The relaxation of travel restrictions and faster vaccine rollout, along with easing the requirements for testing and quarantines, is expected to revive the tourism industry in the Philippines.

Domestic tourism leading the industry in times of uncertainty

As 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.

Popular destinations in the Philippines

A survey conducted in June 2022 revealed that Boracay, Baguio, and Palawan were the most popular domestic destinations among travelers in the Philippines. Both Palawan and Boracay are islands known for their white sand beaches, breathtaking views, and crystal-clear waters. On the other hand, Baguio is popular among tourists for its cooler weather and greenery. The same survey revealed that the majority of travelers in the Philippines would prefer to travel by land compared to air or sea travel.


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