PhilippinesBoracay closure to affect visitor numbers, but tourism receipts keep on rising.

DOT cuts back on foreign arrivals target

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The closure of Boracay island for six months will trim total foreign arrival numbers  to the Philippines in 2018.
The closure of Boracay island for six months will trim total foreign arrival numbers to the Philippines in 2018. Photo Credit: GettyImages

DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat said the targets would likely change as a result of President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to close the island due to reported widespread violations of environmental laws.

The Philippines Department of Tourism (DOT) is scaling back its foreign arrivals target as a result of the six-month closure of Boracay island.

DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat said the targets would likely change as a result of President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to close the island due to reported widespread violations of environmental laws.

“The targets will definitely change. We were expecting 7.4 million visitors (this year), but with the closure of Boracay, our top tourist destination, I highly doubt we’re going to reach that,” Puyat said.

Boracay was the country’s third most visited destination after Metro Manila and Cebu.

Puyat clarified, though, that not all targets would be cut. Tourist receipt earnings, for instance, are expected to rise. She said that under the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP), DOT has targeted an increase in tourism’s contribution to GDP of 10%. “Now it’s already 12.2% of GDP,” she said.

Under the NTDP, DOT is also targeting to increase inbound revenue to US$17 billion by 2022, from US$6.3 billion in 2016; domestic revenue to US$55 billion in 2022, from US$34 billion in 2016; generate 6.5 million jobs from 5.2 million; and raise the tourism industry’s share of total employment to 14.4% from 13%.


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