Domestic tourists in PH seen to hit 44-M by 2016

by Kathleen A. Martin,

Posted at Feb 13 2013 04:12 PM | Updated as of Feb 14 2013 12:12 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The number of Filipinos traveling around the country will reach 44 million by 2016 amid cheap fares and a robust economy.

"Domestic travel has surpassed everyone's expectations," Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Jr. said during the Philippine Economic Briefing.

Jimenez related the country's tourism sector is largely reliant on domestic visitors.

In terms of international visitors, the Philippines is expecting to welcome 10 million tourists by 2016.

But the secretary said creating the demand has been the "easy part" of the agency's job.

"The hard part is being ready for that demand... We are working very closely with all the departments of government to make sure the demand we create is met with resources," Jimenez noted.

The tourism sector's contribution to the country's gross domestic product stood below 7% in 2012 and Jimenez expects this to increase to 11% by 2016.