With the economic recovery from COVID-19 still continuing and the year coming to an end, the Department of Tourism (DOT) revealed its targets for foreign visitors and tourism revenue in 2023, according to a report by the Philippine News Agency (PNA). For the newcomers reading this, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., declared already that it is time for the to return to pre-pandemic life and having a strong tourism sector is a crucial part of the post-pandemic strategy. It has also been several months since the Philippines opened its borders to
To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the PNA article. Some parts in boldface…
The Philippines eyes to double its tourism revenues and reach at least 4.8 million in foreign visitor arrivals in 2023.
Department of Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco Friday revealed the projections as she presented the efforts of the agency to expedite tourism’s recovery.
Frasco said DOT seeks to attract 4.8 million visitors and generate at least USD5.8 billion in revenue.
Latest data showed that the Philippines has already breached its 1.7 million arrivals target for 2022, hitting over 2.46 million tourists and PHP149 billion in receipts.
With the administration’s focus on tourism and the various measures implemented to ease travel, Frasco is optimistic Manila could even surpass the pre-pandemic tourism figures before 2025.
DOT’s initial forecast indicated that Manila will not reach more than 8 million tourists until after 2025, a projection Frasco described as “alarming”.
“[T]o me, that was an alarming projection in a sense that 2025 is so far off for us to obtain our pre-pandemic levels until after 2025 and that really forced us to take an inward look as to how we can expedite the recovery,” she told reporters.
“Having set out policies under the Marcos administration, precisely to serve the more aggressive approach towards tourism recovery, we’re seeing now that we have been able to breach the previous projection as well as the high projection (for this year),” she added.
Aside from constructing rest areas and improving connectivity for inbound tourists, Frasco presented more initiatives DOT sets to undertake in the next few months.
These include showcasing the country as a top cruise destination by 2023, coordinating with the relevant office to ease visa processing, and strengthening the promotion of Mindanao — especially for halal tourism.
Frasco also said DOT and the Department of National Defense are soon to sign a Memorandum of Agreement to obtain necessary data to determine the “most ideal areas to begin the process of reopening Mindanao.”
Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this recent development about the Philippines and its tourism plans for 2023? Do you think it is doable for the Philippines to attract 4.8 million foreign visitors by the end of 2023? What do you think the DOT should do when it comes to emphasizing tourism through conventions and special events? Do you think the DOT is doing enough with getting involved with sports tourism, medical tourism, food tourism, and the like?
You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.
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