Despite the six-month shutdown of Boracay Island in 2018, government figures showed that the tourism industry’s contribution to the economy increased.
The Philippine Statistics Authority reported that the Tourism Direct Gross Value Added (TDGVA) accounted for 12.7% of the gross domestic product in 2018, higher by 0.5 percentage points than the industry’s contribution in 2017.
The TDGVA measures the value added of different industries in relation to tourism activities of both inbound and domestic visitors in the country, PSA said.
In 2018, the TDGVA amounted to P2.2 trillion, higher by 14.3% than the P1.9 trillion in 2017.
The TDGVA estimate is based on the latest results of the 2018 Philippine Tourism Satellite Accounts (PTSA) which also provides information on tourism expenditure and employment.
“These achievements in the tourism industry are a result of a holistic and convergent government. The Build Build Build program of the administration has greatly improved infrastructure and transport connectivity, while the ease of doing business, coupled with a facilitative environment for investments, has boosted both visitor and investor confidence in Philippine tourism,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.
“Moreover, these numbers show that the Philippine tourism industry is sustainable; it is an engine for socio-economic growth that provides jobs and income to the country while preserving Filipino culture and tradition as well as conservation of the environment,” she added.
The PSA also said employment in tourism industries was estimated at 5.4 million in 2018, higher by 1.8% compared to 5.3 million in the previous year. The tourism industry hired about 13% of employees in the country in 2018.
Domestic tourism expenditure, or the amount spent by residents during domestic trips or as part of international trips, grew by 21% to P3.2 trillion in 2018.
Inbound tourism expenditure, on the other hand, declined by 1.6% to P441.4 billion in 2018. This refers to the expenditure of non-resident visitors, including foreign visitors and Filipinos permanently residing abroad.
The Department of Tourism said domestic tourists increased by 14.1% to 110 million in 2018, exceeding the 89.2-million target under the National Tourism Development Plan.
On orders of President Rodrigo Duterte, Boracay was shut down from April to October 2018 to allow it to recover from environmental degradation. Since it reopened, the government task force tasked to rehabilitate the resort island has accredited a total of 358 establishments with 12,952 rooms. The task force is composed of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and DOT. (Ventures Cebu)