It’s official: The tourism industry has seen a significant spike in its contribution to the Philippines’ economic growth, so much so that it provided 5.4 million jobs in 2018. That’s 1.8% higher than jobs provided by the industry sector in 2017. And analysts expect the number to rise even more in the coming years, thanks to steady growth in local tourism services and businesses.
Raking in great numbers in 2018… and beyond?
If those numbers aren’t enough to paint a pretty picture for you, then know that the tourism industry accounted for 12.7% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) last year. That’s a 0.5% increase compared to the numbers the local tourism industry raked in, in 2017. All this despite the six-month Boracay closure the country suffered last year — a drastic measure taken to environmentally rehabilitate the island paradise to its former pristine glory.
According to data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority, 2018 also saw the highest income generated by the local tourism industry so far since 2012. Not bad, considering economists noted “elevated inflation” in the country last year as well as strained relations between China and the US, which has caused economic ripples worldwide.
A result of improved infrastructure
In a statement released by the Department of Tourism (DOT) on official social media accounts, DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat was quick to credit the current government’s infrastructure projects and policies.
“These achievements in the tourism industry area is a result of a holistic and convergent government. The Build Build Build program of the administration has greatly improved infrastructure and transport connectivity, while the ease of doing business, coupled with a facilitative environment for investments, has boosted both visitor and investor confidence in Philippine tourism,” Romulo-Puyat said.
Just last year, the government inaugurated the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX), which has been deemed the “first integrated and multi-modal terminal in the southwestern part of Metro Manila.” The year 2018 also saw the opening of Mactan-Cebu International Airport’s new international terminal, Terminal 2, and the new Bohol-Panglao International Airport. Updated facilities of Clark International Airport also opened early this year. Needless to say, the Philippines has been getting a few facelifts as far as the tourism industry is concerned.
The DOT has also paired this infrastructure development with stronger environmental policies hinged on sustainable tourism, which will help conserve the country’s natural wonders for future generations. Ultimately, these projects should lead to fortified Tourism Enterprise Zones in the Philippines and improved efforts that will effectively lessen the tourism industry’s harmful environmental impact.
More fun for Philippine tourism
On top of this, DOT has made public its bid to host the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) general assembly in 2021. This confab gathers major players in the global tourism scene, and hosting such an event will definitely put the Philippines on everyone’s radar. We can’t wait to see how that will propel Philippine tourism here and abroad.
With so many things happening worldwide, it’s always great to hear good news. And as we can learn from the DOT’s example, as long as investments are the right kind, they do tend to pay off well. The country is now starting to reap the results of updated and improved policies, initiatives, and infrastructures — and hopefully, we’ll witness even more bolstered growth in the Philippines’ tourism industry in the coming years.
For now, keep this in mind: Every time you travel (especially when you plan local trips), you actually help boost our own tourism industry. So on to the next adventure and cheers to the Philippines’ economic growth!