Government data showed that the tourism industry’s contribution to the national economy increased to almost 13% of the gross domestic product (GDP) last year.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat stressed the industry’s vital role in the country’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The tourism chief remained optimistic that despite the industry being crippled by the disruption of international and domestic travel, it will be able to recover and emerge stronger “with the strong support of our stakeholders and partners.”
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that tourism’s contribution to the country’s GDP grew from 12.3% in 2018 to12.7% in 2019.
“Coming at a time when the country is grappling with the most devastating impact of this pandemic, we are inspired by this report as it affirms the vital role of our tourism sector in contributing to the economic recovery of our nation,” Puyat said.
She added that the PSA report confirms tourism’s contribution to the economy in terms of productivity and employment generation.
The report showed that in 2019 14 out of 100 employed Filipinos were in tourism-related industries, with employment in tourism industries increasing from 5.36 to 5.71 million in 2019. This translates to about 350,000 additional tourism-related jobs.
“The substantial growth in inbound and outbound tourism expenditure and employment in tourism demonstrates the value of the collective effort of our tourism stakeholders. I have high hopes that the Philippine tourism industry will recover, and we will come out better from the current challenges that we face with the strong support from our stakeholders and partners,” said Puyat.
Inbound tourism expenditure, or the amount spent by foreign visitors and Filipino residents of other countries, posted the highest growth in 2019 at 23.2% to a total of P548.76 billion from P445.58 billion in 2018.
Domestic tourism expenditures also grew by 10.4%, from P2.85 trillion in 2018 to P3.14 trillion in 2019.