Is the Philippines Near its Year-end Target for International Arrivals?

Tourism in the Philippines is expected to bounce back as international arrivals grow—following the ease of pandemic restrictions.

According to data from Leechiu Property Consultants, the Philippines is on its way to hitting its year-end target for international arrivals. In fact, as of the third quarter of 2023, the country has recorded 4,005,465 international inbound arrivals, versus its year-end target, which is 4.8 million. 

While the number is significantly less than the 6,161,503 international inbound arrivals recorded in the third quarter of 2019, it is still seen as an improvement—following the ease of pandemic restrictions. Moreover, this signifies that tourists are becoming more and more confident and comfortable with traveling overseas. 

As the country’s tourism industry continues to recover, the Department of Tourism is eyeing a target of 12 million international arrivals for 2028.

The Influx of Tourists, in Numbers

Based on the report, the majority of international travelers are from South Korea. In fact, as of the third quarter of 2023, 1.04 million South Korean tourists have entered the country. Tourists from the United States and Japan are next in line, at 679,000 and 221,000 tourists, respectively. Meanwhile, China ranks fourth with 194,000 arrivals, while Australia takes the fifth spot with 187,000 tourists. 

Leechiu also notes a significant decrease in the number of Chinese and Japanese tourists versus numbers in the third quarter of 2019. The country recorded 1.53 million arrivals from China and 518,000 arrivals from Japan in that period.

Contributing factors to the decrease include China’s sluggish economy and record-high unemployment among the youth. Aside from this, the rise of domestic travel in Japan is seen to contribute to the low number of Japanese tourist arrivals. The latter has been spurred by government subsidies—given to domestic accommodations. 

Business Opportunities for Entrepreneurs

The government’s aim to boost international tourists provides numerous business opportunities for both aspiring and seasoned entrepreneurs. After all, entrepreneurs can explore a wide range of services they can provide for the tourism industry, such as accommodations, tour packages, and unique experiences that tourists can enjoy. 

It is important, however, for entrepreneurs to study what kind of products and services appeal to internal tourists. This is to ensure that the business offers something that international tourists want and are willing to pay for. 

At the end of the day, businesses offering products and services that no one wants or needs will not be profitable. It is therefore crucial for entrepreneurs to study the market thoroughly before investing in a new business.