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Domestic tourism seen fully recovered this year

THE Department of Tourism (DoT) said it expects domestic tourism to make a full recovery this year with international tourism following in 2024 after travel disruptions caused by the pandemic.

“Even as the pandemic set back our gains, the momentum for recovery and growth is already here. We see domestic tourism recovering to 2019 levels this year, and international tourism next year,” Tourism Secretary Ma. Esperanza Christina G. Frasco said during a meeting of the Tourism Coordinating Council (TCC) Monday.

“The possibilities for Philippine tourism are endless. With your continued support we will accomplish our goals for a tourism industry that is a major economic pillar,” she added.

In 2022, the Philippines recorded 2.65 million international visitor arrivals. The DoT is targeting 4.8 million international visitors this year, still some distance from the 8.26 million international arrivals in 2019.

The Philippine Statistics Authority estimates that domestic trips totaled 37.28 million in 2021, still off their pre-pandemic level of 122.12 million in 2019. The data for 2022 are not yet available.

The TCC is the coordinating body for national tourism development efforts under Republic Act No. 9593 or the Tourism Act.

Ms. Frasco said the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) will help the country become a “tourism powerhouse.” 

The DoT is hoping to launch the NTDP by March of this year.

“The NTDP is framed by the strategic values of Philippine identity, sustainability, resilience, and global competitiveness. Our programs should reflect these values if we are to truly seize the opportunities for long-term growth for our industry,” Ms. Frasco said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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