Philippines reaches 80% of target for foreign tourist arrivals

Philippines reaches 80% of target for foreign tourist arrivals

The Philippines has received 3.87 million visitors so far this year.

The Philippines.- Christina Frasco, secretary of the Department of Tourism (DOT), has announced that the Philippines has already reachd 80 per cent of its target for foreign tourist arrivals for 2023. According to the Philippine News Agency, over 3.87 million foreign tourists had entered the Philippines by September 18, representing 80.77 per cent of the DOT’s goal of 4.8 million by year-end.

Tourists, primarily from South Korea, the United States and Japan, have so far generated PHP316.9bn (US$5.5bn) in revenue. South Korea has been the leading source market, contributing over 940,000 visitors, 28 per cent of all foreign arrivals.

Speaking at the opening of the 2023 Philippine Travel Exchange (PHITEX) held in Cebu, Frasco said the DOT plans to add 15 more rest areas across the country in 2024 to enhance the travel experience for tourists, aligning with the goal of transforming the Philippines into a prominent “tourism powerhouse in Asia.”

In August, authorities introduced an electronic visa system, starting with visas for Chinese visitors. The system is expected to be rolled out to other visa-requiring nationalities, including Indian passport holders, by the end of 2023.

Industry consultancy GCG Gaming Advisory Services has predicted that the Philippine casino sector could achieve GGR ranging from US$5.2bn to US$5.9bn for 2023. This would outpace pre-pandemic figures from 2019, when GGR amounted to US$4.84bn.

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