”For 2016, our target is six million. So far, as of July we have already hit more than half. So we will hit the target or even more,” Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said in a press briefing in Malacañang.
From January to June this year, a total of 2,978,438 foreign visitors came to the Philippines, 13 percent higher compared to the same period in 2015.
She said the DOT is focused on developing a highly competitive tourism industry, and an inclusive and sustainable growth.
Teo also disclosed a continued increase in revenues during the last six months of the previous administration.
”We must shoot for the stars and maintain an upward trend in terms of visitor arrivals and revenues for the benefit of all stakeholders,” Teo said.
She said their target is to increase revenues from PHP2.8 trillion in 2015 to PHP3.9 trillion after the six-year term of President Rodrigo Duterte in 2022.
Teo said the DOT is hoping to hit 12 million foreign tourists and 89 million domestic tourists by 2022.
She said Korea is the country’s biggest source of tourists with 686,111 for the month of June alone, followed by the United States with 454,170 tourists; China with 340,958; Japan with 260,656; and Australia with 120,209.
Despite the numbers and the country’s world-class tourist spots, the Philippines still lags behind Southeast Asian neighbors such as Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and even Vietnam based on tourist arrivals in 2015.
Teo said the DOT will replace the present tourism slogan “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” with a new slogan that would reflect the reforms that President Duterte is pushing in the country. (PNA)