Long holidays for 2023 important to stimulate domestic tourism in the Philippines

The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Thursday (November 17) welcomed President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s recent signing of Presidential Proclamation No. 90, which adjusts the roster of regular holiday and special (non-working) days in 2023 to introduce more long weekends that Filipinos can potentially plan their trips around.

According to Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco, the DOT foresees the Presidential Proclamation as “an important stimulus to boost the country’s domestic travel figures,” as this will “allow travelers to stay longer in destinations and thus bring direct economic benefits to the local communities.”

“We are very thankful to the President for making this move to adjust certain holidays, therefore allowing Filipinos to enjoy at least nine long weekends for the year 2023. This gives our kababayans more opportunity to rest, recharge, and spend longer quality time and trips with their families and loved ones,” Secretary Frasco said.

Pursuant to President Marcos’ vision for the tourism industry to be a major economic pillar for the country, Secretary Frasco said that the DOT has identified the maximization of domestic tourism as one of its seven main objectives.

“The Presidential Proclamation corresponds to the Marcos administration’s thrust to maximize domestic tourism in the country, cognizant of its significant contribution to the recovery of the local economy and the overall growth of the country’s tourism industry,” said Secretary Frasco.

“As someone who hails from Cebu, I have seen how domestic tourism was able to support the local economy and tourism-dependent communities amid the difficulties brought about by the pandemic. When maximized to its full potential, domestic tourism can open up even more tourism livelihood and employment opportunities,” assured the Tourism Secretary.

Nine long weekends in 2023

Based on Presidential Proclamation No. 90, there will be a total of nine (9) long weekends in 2023.

January 2 (Monday) and November 2 (Thursday) have been declared additional special non-working holidays to be observed next year. Moreover, April 10 was also declared as a non-working holiday in lieu of April 9—the commemoration date of Araw ng Kagitingan, which will fall on a Sunday for the said year.

In observance of Bonifacio Day (which falls on a Thursday for the year 2023), the proclamation declared November 27—the nearest Monday to November 30—as a non-working holiday pursuant to R.A. 9492.

Signed on November 11, 2022, the Presidential Proclamation No. 90 amends provisions of the earlier issued Presidential Proclamation No. 42, S. 2022, or the declaration of the regular holidays and special (non-working) days for the year 2023.

“Even our MSMEs stand to benefit from the extended weekends because the longer our tourists stay in a particular destination, the higher the likelihood that they will engage in tourism activities and spend on local products. The long weekends will definitely help spur economic activities, sustain tourism-related employment opportunities, and aid communities that are dependent on tourism,” enthused Secretary Frasco.

Pick-up in domestic trips seen

Since last year, the DOT has noted a steady pick-up in the country’s domestic tourism figures.

Based on data from the Philippine Tourism Satellite Accounts (PTSA), domestic trips in the Philippines in 2021 tallied 37,279,282, or 38.16% higher than the trips registered in 2020.

The PTSA also showed the estimated number of domestic trips in the country to be at its highest in 2019, tallying 122,118,141. This number drastically decreased by 77.90% in 2020, with 26,982,233 recorded domestic trips.

“We highly encourage our kababayans to seize this opportunity and book your trips as early as now. Travelling to our key spots as well as lesser-known destinations is one way we can foster our love of country and discover the richness of our country’s culture,” enthused Secretary Frasco.

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