Baguio City, Philippines – The tourism industry has emerged as a major contributor to the Philippines' economic growth in the first half of the year, closely following the employment rate. This development is attributed to the emphasis placed on the sector by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.'s administration.
According to Philippines News Agency, speaking at the opening of the 2nd North Luzon Tourism Expo at Camp John Hay in Baguio City, tourism has significantly bolstered the economy, contributing PHP 404 billion. The sector has nearly achieved its target of 4.8 million international arrivals for 2023. Frasco highlighted that following the improving employment rate, tourism, investment registration activities, and the return of students to schools are key economic drivers.
Frasco noted President Marcos's prioritization of tourism as a critical factor in these achievements. She credited the administration's focus on the industry for the remarkable progress made in a year. Government support has been instrumental in this development, with initiatives including the rehabilitation of at least 158 kilometers of roads. Additionally, 2024 will see further improvements in airport infrastructure.
The tourism experience in the Philippines is also being enhanced through the development of Tourist Rest Areas (TRA) across Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. These TRAs are designed to provide a welcoming experience for tourists, featuring amenities like hygienic facilities, coffee shops, souvenir shops, information desks, and charging stations for mobile devices.
The 2nd North Luzon Tourism Expo, a three-day event focusing on the Cordillera, Ilocos, Cagayan, and Central Luzon tourism destinations, will showcase booths featuring local food and handicrafts. Exhibitors will offer tour packages, discounts, travel insurance, and more at the Camp John Hay Cap Convention Center.