Philippines looking to double tourist arrivals to 5 million in 2023

By Newsdesk – January 20, 2023

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The Philippines Department of Tourism (DOT) revealed Thursday it is aiming to attract 5 million foreign visitors in 2023, almost doubling the 2.6 million visitors who arrived last year.

Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco said the DOT was looking to attract a minimum of 4.8 million tourists this year, having comfortably exceeded its initial goal of 1.7 million arrivals in 2022.

“As far as 2023 is concerned, the target is to double that number (2.6 million) to around a minimum of 4.8 million tourists,” Frasco said.

“We far exceeded [our original 2022 target] by almost a million arrivals, especially considering that we’ve only reopened our borders in February of 2022.”

The Philippines welcomed 8.3 million visitor arrivals in 2019.

In order to make travel easier for tourists, the government recently introduced a new “eTravel” system to replace the old One Health Pass, while work is underway on upgrades to Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2, Cebu City Pier 1 and the Davao International Airport, according to Philippine News Agency.

It is also looking to boost domestic tourism by passing a new law that would see public holidays that fall on a weekend moved to the Monday, creating a three-day long weekend.

“Definitely, increasing the number of long weekends helps domestic tourism,” Fradco said. “Our President, Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr, passed a proclamation recently to increase long weekends to nine and it also stoked a lot of interest and excitement among fellow Filipinos in terms of booking their trips for 2023.”

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