What’s On The Horizon: Department Of Tourism, Philippines

The number of visitors to the Philippines has topped the 5 million-mark during 2023, surpassing a target of 4.8 million for the year. South Korea ranks first as the top source market with 1.3 million arrivals, followed by the U.S., Japan, China and Australia.

As a country that relies heavily on air connectivity, with 99% of tourist arrivals attributed to air travel, the Department of Tourism (DOT) hopes to draw 7.7 million foreign visitors in 2024, marking a 50% increase over 2023 numbers.

To achieve this goal, the DOT has put several objectives in place to meet President Bongbong Marcos’ ambition of transforming the Philippines into a tourism powerhouse in Asia. It aims to grow niche markets, increase arrivals related to meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions, and expand film and heritage tourism.

Speaking at Routes World 2023 in Istanbul, Warner Andrada, OIC – Assistant Secretary at the DOT, said a key target within the national tourism development plan was to improve international connectivity.

“Aside from our more key markets, we’re still pushing for European markets,” he said. “I think more connectivity from Europe is one we would like to target including Germany, France, and the UK.”

To boost U.S. connections, Philippine Airlines recently launched a codeshare partnership with American Airlines. As part of the agreement, Philippine Airlines has placed its PR code on American’s flights between Los Angeles and seven U.S. cities: Atlanta, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, Orlando and Washington, D.C.

American’s passengers are now able to book tickets for codeshare flights operated by Philippine Airlines to Manila and Cebu via Tokyo. Additionally, customers will be able to fly to Manila from Honolulu and Guam.