Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco highlights the progress in the Philippine tourism sector during the first year of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s tenure, as she presents optimistic targets for 2023. The Department of Tourism (DOT) outlined key milestones contributing to economic growth and transforming the country into an Asian tourism hub. President Marcos’s prioritization of tourism helped spur sustainable, inclusive development across the industry, with a focus on Filipino culture, heritage, and identity.
The resurgence of tourism was evident in 2022 with a notable increase in international and domestic tourist arrivals. The country surpassed its targets, welcoming 2.65 million international tourists and recording over 102 million domestic trips. Tourism expenditure also saw significant growth, reaching Php 1.87 trillion. As of July 21, 2023, the DOT has recorded 3.017 million foreign visitor arrivals, inching closer to the year’s 4.8 million goal.
The DOT has undertaken numerous initiatives under the Marcos administration to aid post-pandemic recovery, such as liberalizing COVID-19 protocols, improving the entry process for travelers, and fostering digitalization and infrastructure development in cooperation with other government departments. Secretary Frasco’s leadership has also led to the approval of the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) 2023-2028, outlining seven strategic objectives for the industry’s progress.
Furthermore, efforts to encourage travel to the Philippines have been prioritized, including facilitating air routes and attracting cruise tourism. The DOT has aggressively promoted Philippine tourism through local and international expos, rebranding campaigns, and forging local, regional, and national partnerships. Secretary Frasco’s international engagements have resulted in a strengthened position for the country in global tourism relations.
The Department’s achievements have not gone unnoticed, with the Philippines winning several international accolades, and it continues to vie for more. As part of a commitment to world-class service and standards, the DOT has trained numerous individuals in Filipino hospitality and accredited a large number of tourism-related enterprises. With further projects underway, Secretary Frasco remains optimistic about the continued progress of the Philippine tourism industry under the Marcos administration.