Recovering tourism industry exceeds target, draws over 5.5 million visitors in 2023 | Inquirer News

Recovering tourism industry exceeds target, draws over 5.5 million visitors in 2023

/ 03:23 PM January 02, 2024

Tourists visit Virgin Island in Panglao, Bohol province where food vendors are no longer allowed

Virgin Island in Panglao, Bohol is a popular destination among local and foreign tourists. (LEO UDTOHAN)

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines’ tourism industry has been recovering faster than expected since taking a hit during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said on Tuesday.

In its year-end report, the DOT said that the country welcomed over 5.4 million tourists in 2023.


“A total of 5,450,557 international visitors entered the country from January 1 to December 31, 2023,” the DOT said.


It added that among the 5.4 million visitors, 91.8 percent (5,003,475) were foreigners, while 8.20 percent (447,082) were overseas Filipinos.

Target exceeded

This figure is around 650,000 more than the DOT’s projected 4.8 million international visitors for 2023.

In 2022, the Philippines welcomed around two million visitors, 73 percent of the, foreigners.

In early December last year, the DOT announced that it had breached the five million mark for foreign tourist arrivals.


Its yearend report added that South Koreans accounted for 26.41 percent of the total foreign visitors, making them the Philippines’ largest market for international visitors.

Second on the list are Americans (16.57 percent) followed by the Japanese (5.61 percent), Australians (4.89 percent) and Chinese (4.84 percent).


Cashing in

Further, the DOT said that the country’s international tourism receipts have surged to an estimated P482.54 billion in 2023 – about 124.87 percent higher than the estimated P214.58 billion in 2022. 

“In 2019, or the pre-pandemic period, the DOT recorded P482.15 billion in international tourism receipts,” it added.

“By 2024, the DOT is targeting a baseline target of 7.7 million international visitor arrivals,” the DOT stated in its yearend report.

Resilient tourism industry

Citing the country’s multiple tourism awards in 2023, Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco lauded the tourism industry’s resilience amid setbacks in previous years.

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“The indomitable spirit of the Filipino has been globally acclaimed with the Philippines receiving the Global Tourism Resilience Award with our country seen as a benchmark for innovation amidst trials and challenges,” Frasco said in the same report.

TAGS: DoT, Tourism

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