2023 July 24
WELCOME TO PH. Foreign tourists aboard the Silver Spirit cruise ship are welcomed by tourism and city government officials at the Manila South Harbor on Feb. 15, 2023. The Philippines has recorded more than three million international visitor arrivals seven months into the year, closing in on its target of 4.8 million tourists in 2023.
MANILA – As tourist arrival figures slowly increase and economies reopen post-pandemic, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is optimistic the Philippine tourism sector will soon experience a “great rebound”.
During his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) Monday, Marcos recognized the sector’s contribution to development and highlighted how his administration puts the industry on top of its priorities.
“Our tourism has always been a reliable pillar of our economic growth through the years, providing livelihood to more than five million of our citizens. Because of the reopening of the economy, and the phenomenon of ‘revenge travel’, this sector is headed for a great rebound,” he said.
As the country addresses its “weaknesses and develop competitiveness in other potential areas”, he said Manila would also maximize its strengths.
“Our competitive advantage must be leveraged. As a ’service export powerhouse’, we must continue to nurture the growth of the services sector, particularly the Information Technology-Business Process Management and tourism industries,” he said.
He added that his administration would prioritize “intermodal connectivity” and connect roads, bridges, and mass transport systems to provide access to economic markets, including tourism sites.
At present, the Department of Tourism closely works with the Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Works and Highways to upgrade the country’s airports, seaports and roads.
The agency is also pushing to enhance and continue projects under the existing Tourism Road Infrastructure Program as well as the exploration and pursuit of new infrastructure projects, with at least PHP16 billion invested in tourism roads for 2023.
Joyce Ann Rocamora (PNA)