Six million international visitor arrivals by 2016 is now the goal of the Department of Tourism (DOT) under the leadership of Secretary Albert Lim. “That is our fighting target,” Secretary Lim said in the recently held Philippine economic briefing.
He said the country needs more investments in infrastructure and accommodation sector to realise the goal of doubling the number of foreign tourists visiting the country each year. About 3 million international tourists visited the Philippines in 2009, and this number is expected to rise 10 percent to about 3.3 million in 2010.
However, the number of visitors in the Philippines is dwarfed by the volume of foreign guests in other Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and now even Vietnam and Cambodia.
This was linked to the isolation of the Philippines from the rest of the region, as the country does not share land borders with any other country. International visitor arrivals in other Southeast Asian countries are mostly comprised of cross-border transfers, particularly those between Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.