MANILA - Foreign tourist arrivals have reached 1.77 million as of Oct. 19, exceeding the target of 1.7 million for the year, the Department of Tourism said on Wednesday.
Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco said this shows that the industry is on the road to recovery.
The government’s goal however is not just recovery, but to exceed pre-pandemic levels, Frasco said during the 2022 Philippine Travel Exchange opening at the Marriot Grand Ballroom in Pasay City.
Frasco said the government’s optimism is boosted further by the approaching holidays, which is a peak season for travel.
She also ensured that the country intends to sustain the momentum by making it easier for tourists to visit.
“I understand there are still concerns regarding stringent protocols coming into the Philippines and therefore I’m pleased to inform you that the direction of the Marcos administration is to lift these stringent protocols by the end of the year to ensure that we fully convey that the Philippines is open and ready to receive tourists,” she said.
The two-day 2022 Philippine Travel Exchange, now in its 21st year and on its third year as a hybrid event, aims to generate up to P60 million in revenue.
The top countries of origin are as follows:
1. United States
2. South Korea
Meanwhile, newly appointed Tourism Promotions Board Chief Operation Officer Marga Nograles said officials are reviewing the country's popular tag line “It’s more fun in the Philippines” due to changes in people’s reason for travel.
“Studies show that people, travelers are looking now to reconnect with families, to find search of self, wellness. So we are looking into all of that,” she said.
In 2019, the Philippines welcomed 8.26 million foreign tourists, breaching its 8.2 million target.