MANILA – The tourism investment from both private and public sectors in the country reached PHP663.2 billion in 2019, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) revealed Thursday.
Based on the data presented by PSA Assistant National Statistician Service Vivian Ilarina during the 2019 Philippine Tourism Satellite Account (PTSA) forum, the tourism gross fixed capital formation (GFCF), or the investments made by the private sector, amounted to PHP569.1 billion in 2019, higher by 3.6 percent than the PHP549.5 billion estimates in 2018.
The tourism GFCF covers fixed assets such as cruise ships, sightseeing buses, hotel facilities, convention centers as well as non-tourism-specific fixed assets, including the computer system of a hotel or travel agency, hotel laundry facilities, among others.
Meanwhile, government spending in tourism, or the so-called tourism collective consumption, reached PHP94.1 billion, up by 23.5 percent compared to PHP76.2 billion in 2018.
Some of the tourism collective consumption includes legislation and regulation on receiving and serving of visitors, development of tourism policies and tourism promotion of the country, and provision of support to specific tourism-oriented investments.
Tourism Congress of the Philippines president Jose Clemente III welcomed this as he highlighted the importance of government support in the post-coronavirus future.
"This is something that we welcome and we hope can resume once we start to recover from the pandemic," he said.
The tourism spending of both domestic and inbound travelers in 2019 also increased to PHP3.7 trillion, up by 12.1 percent from the PHP3.3 trillion generated in 2018.
The domestic tourism expenditure climbed to PHP3.1 trillion from PHP2.8 trillion in 2018 while the foreign visitor spending rose to PHP548.8 billion from PHP445.6 billion.
For Clemente, this reflects the contribution of the tourism industry in the Philippine economy.
"This is something we had been feeling for the past few years and were it not for this unfortunate situation (pandemic), we are in right now, the contribution of tourism would have been much larger than what we had last year," he said.
According to the Department of Tourism, the most visited places in 2019 were Cebu, Rizal, Davao del Sur, Aklan, Batangas, Zambales, Palawan, Albay, Benguet, and Davao de Oro.
As several destinations practice caution against coronavirus, the DOT is pinning its hope on domestic travel as a driver of tourism growth under the so-called "new normal". (PNA)