BORACAY with its world-famous beach may be off limits to tourists for six months starting from April 26 , but that doesn’t mean that travel and tourism in the country will come to a screeching halt.
In 2017, the travel and tourism sector contributed a total of P3.35 trillion to the Philippine economy, which is equivalent to about 21 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.
The industry’s total contribution—not only from the economic activities of directly related industries, but also from investment and supply chain income—is similarly expected to rise by 5.9 percent in 2018 and further increase by about 5.8 percent yearly to P6.24 trillion by 2028.
That’s not all. Travel and tourism directly supports around 2.3 million jobs or about 5.8 percent of employment last year. Employment in the industry is expected to rise by 6.6 percent in 2018 and further increase by 2.6 percent yearly to 3.22 million jobs by 2028. The total contribution of travel and tourism to employment, including jobs indirectly supported by the industry, stood at 19.2 percent of total employment, or 7.8 million jobs.
In fact, the travel and tourism sector is experiencing a boom right now that drives the growth of many industries, including real estate.
Meanwhile, investments in travel and tourism last year reached P95.1 billion, a figure seen to similarly rise by 4.5 percent in 2018, and by 5.2 percent yearly over the next 10 years to some P164 billion in 2028.
The numbers are certainly mind-boggling, but just imagine how much more we could earn if only we could open up more tourist destinations in areas where communist insurgents, terrorist groups and the Abu Sayyaf bandit group specializing in kidnap-for-ransom now operate.
Indeed, if we can make travel and tourism contribute more to our GDP and create more jobs for Filipinos, then it help reduce poverty and allow the economy to grow so that we take our place among the middle-income countries in the world.