5.7 Million Tourists Target in 2014

Tourism Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez Jr. believes the Philippines can attract 5.7 million visitors in 2014.

Revenues from domestic tourism are also expected to hit PhP1.4 trillion in 2014, higher by PhP110.6 billion compared to 2013 earnings due to the projected increase in the daily expenditures by domestic tourists.

The DOT estimates domestic tourists to reach 47.7 million in 2014, up from 44.1 million in 2013. The average length of stay of local tourists remains at about five nights.

The increasing number of local travellers could be attributed to the promotions and expositions being held by the Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) which has been organising the annual Traveltour Expo to be held this year at the SMX Convention Centre in Pasay City on 14th to 16th February 2014.
The expo will feature 53 travel agencies and tour operators, 27 airlines, five cruise lines, 96 hotels and resorts, 14 embassies and travel organisations and six theme parks.

By 2016, the DOT sees the tourism industry contributing at least 10 percent to the economy.

This would exceed the 8.1-percent contribution to the gross domestic product target earlier outlined by the DOT in its National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) for 2010 to 2016, which will be updated soon.

Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. said the optimism stems from the fact that the Philippines is getting “better quality tourists,” who stay longer and, thus, spend more.

He cited 2013 as an example. He said that although the DoT may have failed to reach its 5.5 million visitor-arrival target, “[income-wise] I think we were over US$4 billion. It’s very big. In other words, we are on track to becoming 10 percent of the economy by 2016. That’s going to be a very significant thing for us.”

Data from the DOT show that from January-to-September 2013, tourism receipts reached US$3.08 billion (PhP139 billion), which is already 68 percent of the full-year target of US$4.6 billion (PhP205 billion).

Secretary Jimenez also said that in terms of tourism as an employment generator, the Philippines might have also reached its target last year of 4.9 million, up 16.6 percent from 2012’s actual employment of 4.2 million.

Under the NTDP, the DOT is targeting 10 million foreign-visitor arrivals by 2016, staying an average of 9.2 nights, and spending an average of PhP4,383 (or US$97) per day. The agency also aims to increase direct employment in the tourism industry to 6.8 million people in 2016, to account for 17 percent of total employment.

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