Philippine President Approves National Tourism Development Plan 2023-2028, Unleashing Opportunities for the Tourism Sector

The Philippine President, Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., has given his approval to the National Tourism Development Plan 2023-2028, meticulously crafted by the Department of Tourism (DOT) in collaboration with stakeholders from the public and private sectors. The green light from the President is expected to propel the transformation of the tourism sector and open up vast opportunities within the industry.

Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco expressed her gratitude to President Marcos after securing his endorsement of the blueprint for the national government’s tourism goals for the next five years under the Marcos administration.

“We are very thankful to President Marcos for approving the NTDP, and we’re very much looking forward to instituting all of the programs and plans under his administration, all towards the goal of ensuring that our fellow Filipinos are able to enjoy gainful employment and livelihood as a result of the success of the tourism industry,” Secretary Frasco stated in a briefing before reporters of the Malacañang Press Corps on Tuesday (May 16).

The NTDP 2023-2028 aims to establish a Philippine tourism industry anchored on Filipino culture, heritage, and identity, emphasizing sustainability, resilience, and competitiveness. This aligns with the 8-point economic aspirations of the President, addressing critical issues facing the country.

Addressing Tourism Bottlenecks

Secretary Frasco highlighted tourism as one of the few industries capable of creating opportunities and livelihoods in remote communities across the Philippines. She emphasized the need for a national commitment to tourism to achieve inclusive and sustainable development.

Acknowledging the challenges faced by the industry, Secretary Frasco emphasized, “It is by unlocking all of these roadblocks that we would be able to fully develop the tourism industry guided by the National Tourism Development Plan.”

In the coming years, the DOT will operate under seven identified objectives to define the commitment and strategy of the current administration. These objectives include improving tourism infrastructure, digitalization, enhancing overall tourist experience, equalizing tourism product development, diversifying the tourism portfolio, maximizing domestic and international tourism, and strengthening tourism governance through collaboration with national and local stakeholders.

With post-pandemic challenges in mind, the Department will incorporate three strategic approaches: connectivity, convenience, and (e)quality.

Surpassing Tourism Targets

For 2023, the DOT projects a baseline of 4.8 million international tourist arrivals targeting P316 billion in inbound tourism revenue and aiming to achieve P1.93 trillion in domestic revenue. Domestic tourism remains a key driver for post-pandemic economic recovery.

In terms of employment, the DOT targets to employ 5.3 million tourism workers in 2023, contributing 11.8 percent to the country’s total employment rate.

By 2028, the DOT projects an accumulated total of 51.9 million international arrivals and the generation of 34.7 million tourism-related jobs.

Despite the challenges, Secretary Frasco remains optimistic that the DOT, especially this year, will surpass its targets following a significant recovery in arrivals and revenue observed in recent months.

As of May 15, the Philippines has recorded a total of 2,029,419 international visitors, already exceeding the 1.7 million targets for 2022. From January to April 2023, the DOT has generated roughly P168.5 billion in visitor receipts.

The DOT is also embarking on an ambitious goal to train 100,000 tourism workers under its Filipino Brand of Service Excellence (FBSE) program.

“As a whole, the NTDP shall provide a guide for our regions as well in the efforts of our President to spread countrywide development through tourism,” Secretary Frasco concluded, emphasizing the opportunities for Filipinos to gain tourism employment and the development of tourism circuits across regions and provinces.

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