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PH marks 5.4M international tourist arrivals in 2023

The Department of Tourism Region 3 office said the country has marked 5.4 million in international tourist arrivals in 2023, with the reopening of the economy after being stuck for two years during the pandemic.

“This is way beyond what we were expecting,” DOT-3 director Richard Daenos said during the Kapihan Sa Bagong Pilipinas organized by the Philippine Information Agency regional office this morning, July 9.

Noting “revenge travel” as one of the reasons behind the increase in tourist arrivals, Daenos said the DOT is “very eager to really catch up in terms of those lost two years”.

In fact, Daenos said the region is the 5th among 16 regions in terms of tourist arrivals.

“We have a long way to go, but we are not left behind,” the regional director said.

He said that the DOT is striving to further strengthen its programs with the National Tourism Development Plan for 2023-2028, which aims to establish a Philippine tourism industry anchored on Filipino culture, heritage, and identity, and which aims to be sustainable, resilient, and competitive in order to transform the Philippines into a tourism powerhouse in Asia.

The plan has a 7-Point Agenda, which include Improvement of Tourism Infrastructure and Accessibility; Cohesive and Comprehensive Digitalization and Connectivity; Enhancement of Overall Tourist Experience; Equalization of Tourism Product Development and Promotion; Diversification of Portfolio through Multidimensional Tourism; Maximization of Domestic and International Tourism; Strengthening Tourism Govermance through Close Collaborations with National and Local Stakeholders.

According to Daenos, the DOT, moving forward, is also guided by three pillars – connectivity, convenience and equality.

“Each region would have to be really connected not just in terms of infrastructure but much so in its programs. We have quite a nunber of programs that not only cater region to region, but another tourism product that will cater to a convergence of regional activities,” Daenos said.

The department, according to Daenos, is not only looking at infrastructure but technology, which plays a vital role.

Daenos said that when tourists get to visit a certain place, the first thing they grab is the cellphone, which they use to post photos or describe the destination.

“We have also launched the tourism app, whch caters to anything you would like to know about a certain destination, tourism enterprises, alongside a call center where immediate concerns within the travel experience can be relayed 24/7,” Daenos said.

The regional director also noted that for the second pillar, convenience, the region is fortunate to have road networks which are seamless, making travel convenient for tourists.

“The national government plays a big factor to connect regions and provinces,” Daenos noted.

The third pillar, equality, is all about the distribution of tourism to not just to well-known but also less travelled places, making travel inclusive.

“There will be an immersive type of experience where people will get to enjoy what a locality is all about,” he said.

The DOT, according to Daenos, remains optimistic of good figures in terms of tourist arrivals in the future, stressing that the agency has been helping local government units look at the beauty of tourism.

“This is a way to institutionalize sustainable tourism by introducing to them tourism development workshops,” he said. (Via PPC)