Foreign tourists in PH spent more vs Pinoy visitors abroad in 2023

Foreign tourists in PH spent more than Pinoy visitors abroad in 2023

/ 05:38 AM April 03, 2024

Foreign tourists in PH spent more than Pinoy visitors abroad in 2023

Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco  CHRISTINA FRASCO FACEBOOK

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has posted a travel trade surplus for the first time in 16 years, with $2.45 billion in net tourism receipts recorded last year, based on official data.

The country last posted a surplus in travel services in 2007 at $1.93 billion.


Travel trade refers to transactions involving goods and services acquired by tourists while visiting another country.


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

The travel trade surplus meant that last year, foreign tourists in the Philippines spent more than Filipino tourists did in other countries.

Goods and services purchased by foreign nationals while in the Philippines are considered export income for the Philippines, while goods and services purchased by Filipino tourists in other countries are considered Philippine imports.

Positive sign

The Philippines received 5.45 million international visitors in 2023, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT).

READ: Over 1.2 million int’l visitors arrived in first two months of 2024 — DOT

It said the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) preliminary full-year data for 2023 recorded travel services export receipts of $9.1 billion.


This is more than double the $4.17 billion in tourism export receipts recorded in 2022 but below the $9.7 billion recorded in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

On the other hand, the BSP data recorded travel service imports of $6.6 billion last year.

This made for $2.45 billion in net travel trade surplus in 2023.

Since 2008, the country has recorded a travel trade deficit, with the biggest travel trade deficit recorded in 2015 at $6.07 billion.

The DOT said travel services contributed an 18.9 percent share to the country’s total service exports of $48.28 billion last year.

In a statement, Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco said the BSP data on the travel trade surplus “sets an optimistic tone” for the country’s tourism outlook after “the past difficult years.”

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“As we continue to work toward achieving our targets for 2024 and the years to come, we endeavor to cement tourism’s position as a major economic pillar for the country,” she said. INQ

TAGS: DoT, Tourism

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