DOT Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco Commends Tourism’s Economic Ascendance

Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco of the Department of Tourism (DOT) announced today the remarkable ascent of tourism as one of the top drivers of economic development in the Philippines for the first half of 2023. This accomplishment underscores the government’s commitment to prioritizing the industry and leveraging its vital contribution to the country’s overall progress.

According to government economic data, the registered high employment rate holds the top spot as the number one driver of growth for the first half of the year. Following closely is the resurgence of tourism, marking a significant rebound in growth areas. This is complemented by an increase in investment registration activities and students returning to school.

Secretary Frasco addressed the members of the PHILTOA’s 4th General Membership Meeting, held at the Crimson Hotel in Alabang, Muntinlupa, emphasizing the pro-tourism policies implemented by President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., which provided the impetus needed to reinvigorate an industry significantly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Philippine tourism is back, and it’s back with a vengeance. The robust growth and recovery of Philippine tourism are consistent with what we have seen since the start of the Marcos administration,” said Secretary Frasco during her extemporaneous keynote address. She commended President Marcos, Jr. for prioritizing tourism and mobilizing the entire national government to assist the Department of Tourism in reopening the Philippines to travel.

The DOT has played a pivotal role in easing pandemic restrictions, including the lifting of the mandatory mask mandate, utilizing the One Health Pass, approving e-visas for select tourism source markets, reintroducing the Philippines’ cultural and natural assets, and initiating measures like tax refunds for foreign visitors (currently in the process of legislation). Secretary Frasco highlighted the impact of these efforts in mobilizing tourists within and around the country.

As of August 10, the DOT has recorded 3.360 million foreign visitor arrivals, generating approximately Php 285 billion in tourism revenues.

Secretary Frasco acknowledged the collaborative efforts between the Department of Tourism, other government agencies, local communities, and stakeholders. She emphasized the commitment to expanding the horizons of Philippine tourism, focusing on cultural heritage, improving infrastructure, digitalization, connectivity, sustainable tourism practices, and equal opportunities for tourism development.

“The Department of Tourism remains steadfast in its pursuit of continued tourism development and excellent performance in both the domestic and international arrival sectors. As the second half of the year unfolds, the department is focused on further enhancing tourism offerings, fostering partnerships, expanding tourism opportunities, and continuing to showcase all the reasons to love the Philippines as a premier destination for travelers seeking authentic and meaningful experiences,” Secretary Frasco concluded.

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