MANILA -- Out of 185 countries, the Philippines ranked 13th among the top 15 tourism powerhouses that recorded "absolute growth" within the last seven years.
The Philippines' ranking was identified in the 2018 World Travel & Tourism Council's (WTTC) "Power and Performance Report," wherein 185 states were assessed based on its travel and tourism sector's performance from the period of 2011 to 2017 after the financial crisis ended.
The report highlights the scale of growth of a country's travel and tourism in four key areas: contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), international visitor spend, domestic spend, and capital investment.
The country also ranked 15th in terms of "performance" or based on its compound annual growth rates between the period in WTTC's four indicators.
Contribution to GDP
The Philippines ranks 8th among states that have seen the largest growth in travel and tourism's contribution to GDP from 2011 to 2017, with USD66.3 billion share in 2017 alone.
Growing at an annual rate of 14.2 percent, it placed 7th among states where travel and tourism contribution to GDP grew fastest.
The WTTC noted that the Philippines is "the only country" in the top ten that is in both "power" and "performance" rankings of GDP contribution.
International visitor spending
A total of 9 countries, on the other hand, reached the top 30 in both size and speed of visitor export growth namely Colombia, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Philippines, Qatar, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
The Philippines landed on the 21st spot for posting a 3.7 percent increase in the last seven years in terms of visitor export growth, or the spending by foreign visitors in a country. In 2017, WTTC said the country earned USD7.5 billion from international visitor spendings.
On the other hand, it ranked 23rd among states with fastest growing international visitor spend or an 11.9 percent in visitor export growth per annum.
As in the first two indicators, the Philippines is in both the power and performance league of domestic spending.
The Philippines placed sixth in the power rankings for having USD45.7 billion in last year's domestic travel and tourism spending, an "actual growth" of USD26.2 billion from 2011 to 2017, according to WTTC.
This makes the country third among 185 states in terms of highest annual growth rate.
In all four indicators, the Philippines only fell below the top 30 in investment after placing 44th in the power ranking of capital investment and 87th in its performance ranking.
WTTC's overall "Power" ranking, which positions nations whose travel and tourism has grown most from 2011 to 2017, listed 30 top performers. The top 10 countries were China, United States, India, Mexico, United Kingdom, Spain, Turkey, Canada, Indonesia, and Australia and United Arab Emirates which tied for the 10th spot.
The Philippines and Malaysia shared the 13th slot.
Meanwhile, the report's "Performance" ranking listed the following top 10 countries: Myanmar, Iraq, Georgia, Rwanda, Iceland, Nicaragua, Qatar, Congo, Armenia, and Ivory Coast.
DOT secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat earlier noted that the Philippine tourism is a "booming" industry.
During the Ministerial Round Table of Tourism EXPO 2018 in Japan on September 20, she revealed that the country is "more than five years ahead" of its domestic tourism targets.
In 2017, the tourism industry alone accounted for 12.2 percent of the Philippines' GDP, a figure which exceeds the 10-percent share of GDP the government targeted for 2022.
In the same year, at least 96.7 million domestic tourist arrivals were recorded, exceeding the 86.2 million target set for 2022. A total of 6.62 million international arrivals in 2017 were seen, an 11.3-percent increase from 2016, she added. (PNA)