(PNA photo by Avito Dalan)

MANILA – The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Friday hailed as an "encouraging development" the 9.2 percent growth of tourism's total contribution to the economy in 2021.

The Tourism Direct Gross Value Added (TDGVA) for the year amounted to PHP1 trillion -- a 9.2 percent increase compared with PHP917. 20 billion in 2020.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), this accounted for 5.2 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2021, a point higher from 5.1 percent in 2020.

"The DOT sees this as an encouraging development and a positive indicator of the government’s initiatives to stimulate the industry in its continual recovery," the DOT said.

"The Department is hopeful that with the country's more lenient restrictions for local travel and the recent removal of the test-before-travel requirement for boosted foreign tourists, the growth in tourism industry figures will be sustained this year," it added.

In 2021, internal tourism expenditure -- which covers both inbound and domestic tourism spending, increased by 16.3 percent to PHP810.12 billion from PHP696.81 billion in 2020.

Tourism also sustained about 4.9 million jobs last year, 4.6 percent higher compared to the 4.68 million recorded in 2020.

The DOT is optimistic to see a further increase in tourism-related jobs as it observes an "upward trend" in the country's tourism arrival.

As of June 15, the DOT has tallied a total of 682,949 inbound tourists, less than five months since the country reopened to foreign tourists. (PNA)