MANILA – The tourism industry increased its contribution to the country's economy to almost 13 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) last year, according to government statistics.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said this confirms the industry’s vital role in the country’s recovery from the adverse effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
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 percent in 2018 to12.7 percent 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.
She 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 the tourism industry 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," Puyat said.
The TDGVA amounted to PHP2.48 trillion in 2019, higher by 10.8 percent compared to the PHP2.24 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 percent to a total of PHP548.76 billion from PHP445.58 billion in 2018.
Domestic tourism expenditures also grew by 10.4 percent, from PHP2.85 trillion in 2018 to PHP3.14 trillion in 2019. (DOT PR)