LONDON, United Kingdom — The Philippines is ready to receive more tourists as the outlook for Philippine tourism remains positive, with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s support for the industry as a priority in his administration.
This was the announcement made by Philippines Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco as she addressed tourism ministers and international travel and tourism executives during the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Aligned Advocacy Dinner on Monday (Nov. 7 London time) at the One Great George Street in London.
“Prior to my assumption on June 30th, the projections were that the Philippines will receive 1.7 million tourists by the end of this year. Since we have begun with all the programs and plans of the Marcos administration, we have far surpassed this goal,” Secretary Frasco said.
Based on the DOT’s latest data as of November 7, tourists arrivals to the Philippines has now reached 1.9 million.
“Driving our economic recovery are no other than the Filipino people. We have a young and well-trained workforce who are as kind and gentle a people, as they are courageous and fierce,” she added.
Secretary Frasco shared some of the steps being undertaken by the Philippine government and the DOT in order to sustain the positive trajectory seen with the country’s tourist arrivals.
“By way of the President’s issuing of an Executive Order to lift the prohibition on the entry of unvaccinated foreigners, our guests are just now required to show a negative antigen test should they wish to come to the Philippines,” Secretary Frasco said.
The DOT is set to launch overwintering packages developed together with travel agencies that “showcases not only our idyllic islands and charming destinations, but also many thematic adventures for the picking, from luxury trips to family vacations, unique Filipino wellness experiences, to colorful cultural immersions, discovering the underwater world through diving exhibitions, discovering our flavors through food trips,” added Secretary Frasco.
Another initiative of the DOT is the Philippine Experience Culture Heritage and Arts Caravan, which will give tourists will have a chance to go around the Philippines and view how beautiful the country’s destinations are through its festivals, food, products, and warmth of the Filipino people.
“As we approach the end of 2022 and the new year ahead, we look to the future with optimism and hope. Grateful for your friendship, for your continued interest in the Philippines, knowing full well that with the strength of spirit of the Filipino people, there’s so much to look forward to. I invite you all to come to the Philippines and feel the warmth of the Filipino people,” the DOT chief said.
Earlier, Frasco led Philippine tourism players in formally opening the Philippine Pavilion at the World Travel Market (WTM) 2022 in ExCeL, London to convey the country’s openness to tourism and business opportunities at the global travel and trade meet.
The tourism chief expressed confidence in the prospects of the Philippines at the WTM 2022 London saying that “There’s so much to be proud of in our country and there is no doubt that our country continues to be a top of mind destination notwithstanding all of the challenges and calamities that we have faced.”
“Only in the Philippines can you find three of the top 25 best islands in the world: Cebu, Palawan, and Siargao. Only in the Philippines can you find one of Time Magazine’s 50 Best Places of the Year: Boracay. In addition to that, we have the continuing wonders of our country including the subterranean river in Palawan, chocolate hills in Bohol, as well as all the other beautiful beaches of our country that have included the Philippines as one of the 40 Best Countries in the World. Recently, we were chosen as Asia’s Leading Dive Destination, Asia’s Leading Beach Destination, and Asia’s Leading Tourist Attraction,” she added.
Philippine companies from the travel and tours, hotel, and dive sectors make up the Philippine contingent to the WTM 2022 London, an annual event that invites the biggest names and brands in the travel and related sector.
“The Philippine delegation has come here with a singular mission, and that is to convey to the rest of the world that the Philippines is open and ready to receive tourists and investments. I pray for the success of this mission because there’s no reason why we should fail because we have such a beautiful country,” Secretary Frasco said during the huddle with the exhibitors.
WTM London is a global travel and tourism event where the biggest names in the industry from every sector and every background can connect and network with each other and find new ways to grow and develop their business.
PATA is a not-for profit international association known for being “a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region.”