As the Philippines are attracting more and more tourists, we asked Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Tourism Minister of the Philippines to share the country’s international tourism evolution in 2018.
Visitor arrivals to the Philippines reached 7,168,467 arrivals in 2018, up by 8.27% over 2017 with Korea, China, and the USA representing over a million arrivals each. Total earnings from tourism reached USD 7.71 billion in 2018. Important events last year included the rehabilitation of Boracay, the country’s flagship destination which was also an opportunity for secondary tourism spots, a range of new air routes to secondary airports and the opening of Panglao Airport in Bohol.
How important is turning sustainability for the tourism sector?
We are creating a culture of Sustainable Tourism by prioritising the enforcement of environmental laws in major tourist destinations like El Nido and Coron, Panglao, Siargao del Norte, and Manila Bay. Strategy on sustainability includes the establishment of carrying capacity regulation in destinations in cooperation with local governments, the private sector and communities. The DOT has also been consistent in promoting green standards for the whole tourism industry. We also added a digital campaign on sustainable tourism to the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” campaign
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Photo: Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Tourism Minister, Philippines