According to government statistics, the tourism industry increased its contribution to the country’s economy to almost 13% of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019—confirming the industry’s critical role for Philippine economic recovery from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat expressed optimism that the industry, virtually crippled by the disruption of international and domestic travel would recover and emerge stronger “with the strong support of our stakeholders and partners.”

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported recently that tourism’s contribution to the country’s GDP grew from 12.3% in 2018 to 12.7% in 2019.

“Coming at a time when the country is grappling with the most devastating impact of this pandemic, we are inspired by this report as it affirms the vital role of our tourism sector in contributing to the economic recovery of our nation,” Puyat said.

The tourism secretary added that the PSA report validates the tourism industry’s crucial contribution to the economy in terms of productivity and employment generation.

The report also showed that 14 out of 100 employed Filipinos were in tourism-related industries in 2019. The report noted that employment in tourism industries increased from 5.36 to 5.71 million in 2019. This translates to about 350,000 additional tourism-related jobs.

Tourism’s contribution to the country’s economy is defined as the Tourism Direct Gross Value Added (TDGVA), the gross value added generated by tourism industries and other industries of the economy that directly serve visitors.

“The substantial growth in our TDGVA, inbound and outbound tourism expenditure, and employment in tourism demonstrates the value of the collective effort of our tourism stakeholders. I have high hopes that the Philippine tourism industry will recover, and we will come out better from the current challenges that we face with the strong support from our stakeholders and partners,” said the tourism chief.

The TDGVA amounted to P2.48 trillion in 2019, higher by 10.8% compared to the P2.24 trillion in 2018.

Inbound tourism expenditure, or the amount spent by foreign visitors and Filipino residents of other countries, posted the highest growth in 2019 at 23.2% to a total of P548.76 billion from P445.58 billion in 2018.

Domestic tourism expenditures also grew by 10.4%, from P2.85 trillion in 2018 to P3.14 trillion in 2019.

Balikbayan Media Center
Balikbayan Media Center

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