Travels: It’s still more fun in PH

Travel is indeed more fun in the Philippines, not only for tourists, but much so for the locals and businesses as well.

While tourists are blown away by all the stunning, pristine destinations, exotic cuisine and incomparable Filipino hospitality that the country has to offer, residents and homegrown stores in well-known tourist destinations are meanwhile reaping in heaps the benefits—thriving businesses and livelihood, more job opportunities and increased incomes.


Without a doubt, the Philippine travel and tourism industry remains a bright spot in the economy as it continues to flourish and thrive.

Growing contribution


Based on the latest report of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the industry contributed a total of P4.3 trillion to the Philippine economy in 2018, accounting for 24.7 percent or nearly a fourth of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). This reflected a 28 percent increase compared to the P3.35-trillion contribution of the sector in 2017.

WTTC earlier defined total contribution to include not only the economic activities of directly related industries, but also the wider effects from investment, supply chain and induced income impacts.

Apart from its contribution to the economy, travel and tourism directly and indirectly supported some 8.4 million jobs, accounting for 20.2 percent of total employment in 2018.

WTTC further disclosed in its latest report that the money spent by foreign visitors, or what it termed as international visitor impact, hit P461.9 billion in 2018, up by 21.6 percent from the P379.7 billion generated during the previous year.

Previous estimates by WTTC showed that it expected visitor spend in the Philippines to hit a whopping P665 billion by 2028.

Global impact

Elsewhere in the world, travel and tourism remained a significant growth driver as well.


WTTC research—which measured the global economic and employment impact of travel and tourism in 185 countries and 25 regions—revealed that the sector accounted for 10.4 percent of global GDP and 319 million jobs, equivalent to 10 percent of total employment in 2018.

WTTC said the division of overall spend is weighted towards the leisure market, which represented 78.5 percent of the total compared with 21.5 percent for business spend. The sector also accounted for 6.5 percent of total global exports and 27.2 percent of the total global service exports.

“The continued rise in the number of middle class households and the solid growth in global consumer spending once again enabled the travel and tourism sector’s growth to reach 3.9 percent, outpacing the global economy for the eighth consecutive year,” explained WTTC president and CEO Gloria Guevara Manzo.

According to WTTC, the top five markets in 2018 were United States, China, Japan, Germany and United Kingdom. These five collectively represented 47 percent of the global travel and tourism GDP.

“Across the regions in 2018, Asia Pacific remained a strong performer, growing by 6.4 percent, but North Africa’s performance—with 8.6 percent year-on-year growth—is particularly notable. This growth not only showcases the sector’s resilience and capacity to bounce back from security shocks, but also its ability to spread its benefits widely across the world. In effect, Ethiopia, Ecuador, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Egypt and Turkey led the world for travel and tourism GDP growth in 2018,” Manzo explained.

“This growth, in turn, enables job creation. Travel and tourism, which already supports one in every 10 jobs on the planet, and has accounted for one in five of all jobs created across the world over the past five years, is a dynamic engine of employment opportunities. Jobs in travel and tourism particularly support women, youth and other, often marginalized groups of society,” Manzo added.

Local destinations

Fortunately for the Philippines, it boasts quite a number of travel destinations that offer breathtaking views, pristine white sand beaches, cobalt blue seas, stunning coral and rock formations, among others.

Both local and foreign tourists will surely find their travel bucket lists getting longer as every visit in a new locale will likely lead to a discovery of another hidden and underrated, but equally striking island.

To showcase some of these gems, Inquirer Property will feature in the coming weeks some of the Philippines’ best destinations, known or otherwise, which could very well be your next summer getaway.

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