Tourism in the Philippines
The Philippines is an archipelagic country composed of 7,107 islands. It offers a rich biodiversity with its tropical rainforests, mountains, beaches, coral reefs, islands, and diverse range of flora and fauna, making it as one of the megadiverse countries in the world.
In 2012, the country attracted 4,272,811 visitors.
The Philippine tourism industry flourished in the 1970s and early 1980s but declined in the mid 1980s, with the average length of tourist stay falling from 12.6 days in earlier years to 8.9 days in 1988. In 1987, tourism growth was slower in the Philippines than in other Southeast Asian countries. About 1.2 million tourists visited the Philippines in 1992, which was a record high in the number of tourist visits since 1989.
In 2000, the Philippines' tourist arrivals totaled 2.2 million. In 2003, it totaled 2,838,000, a growth of almost 29%, and was expected to grow as much as 3.4 million in 2007. In the first quarter of 2007, the tourist arrival in the Philippines grew as much as 20% in same period last year. In 2011, the Department of Tourism recorded 3.9 million tourists visiting the country, 11.2 percent higher than the 3.5 million registered in 2010.
The tourism industry employed 3.8 million Filipinos, or 10.2 per cent of national employment in 2011, according to data gathered by the National Statistical Coordination Board. In a greater thrust by the Aquino administration to pump billions of dollars into the sector, tourism is expected to employ 7.4 million people by 2016, or about 18.8 per cent of the total workforce, contributing 8 per cent to 9 per cent to the nation's GDP.
Top 25 international visitors
Data from the Department of Tourism.
As an archipelago composed of 7,107 islands, the Philippines offers countless attractions to see, such as the famous white sand beaches of Boracay, big shopping centers of Metro Manila, rice terraces of Ifugao, diving sites of Palawan, lush forests of Bohol, heritage houses in Vigan, and the cultural attractions of Cebu and Manila.
Metro Manila, the national capital region of the country, is known for being one of the best shopping destinations in Asia; its wide collection of shopping centers offer a range of local and international shops. Numerous shopping malls can be found around the metropolis, especially in the business and financial districts of Ortigas Center and Bonifacio Global City, while high-end shopping centers are mostly located at the Ayala Center in Makati. Despite the rise of modern shopping centers, traditional Filipino shopping areas still remain around the metropolis.
Located just approximately 315 km (196 mi) south of Manila is Boracay; it is known for its white sand beaches and has been a favorite island destination for local and foreign visitors. In 2012, Boracay received the best island award from the international travel magazine Travel + Leisure. Boracay was also named as the second best beach in the world. Aside from its white sand beaches, Boracay is also known for being a popular destination for relaxation, tranquility and for an exciting nightlife.
Mindanao, the southernmost island of the Philippines is home to the country's tallest mountain, Mount Apo. The mountain features a wide range of flora and fauna and is home to over 272 bird species, 111 of which are endemic to the area. Mount Apo is also home to the country's national bird, the Philippine Eagle. Mount Apo is a popular destination for hiking and mountain activities.
- Metro Manila is the capital region of the Philippines and a major hub for business, entertainment, arts and culture. The City of Manila is notable for its cultural attractions like the Spanish colonial buildings in Intramuros and Fort Santiago, and the World Heritage Site of San Agustin Church. Makati, the region's financial center, is noted for its cosmopolitan culture.
- Cebu City is the Philippines' second city. Popular attractions in Cebu include monuments to Ferdinand Magellan's discovery of the Philippines like the Magellan's Cross and Magellan shrine and other Spanish relics like Fort San Pedro, Basilica of Santo Niño and Colon Street, the oldest street in the Philippines. The Sinulog festival in the city is also a major tourist draw.
- Baguio is considered the "Summer Capital of the Philippines" because of its cool weather caused by its high altitude. Burnham Park, Wright Park and Mines View Park are some of its famous landmarks. American-era buildings such as the Baguio Mansion House, Baguio Cathedral and the American Residence at Camp John Hay also serve as tourist attractions. The city is a popular stop for tourists going to the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, a World Heritage site, and the town of Sagada.
- Davao City is famous for Mount Apo, the country's tallest peak. Notable destinations in the city are the Philippine Eagle Center, Samal Island, Crocodile Park, and Malagos Garden.
- Angeles is notable for tourists destinations like Mount Pinatubo, Subic Bay, Mount Samat, Clark Expo, Paskuhan Village, and the old American military base at Fort Stotsenburg. Being only 90 kilometers north from Metro Manila, the city's Clark International Airport also serves as its second international gateway.
- Cagayan de Oro is famous for its whitewater rafting or kayaking adventures, that has been one of the tourism activity being promoted in the Cagayan de Oro River.
- Vigan is the best preserved example of a planned Spanish colonial town in Asia. This historical city in northern Philippines is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- General Santos
- Puerto Princesa
Beaches and Islands
As a tropical country with a long coastline and with more than 7,107 islands, the Philippines offers a wide selection of beaches and islands around its archipelago. Beaches serves as one of the most popular and well-known tourist attractions of the country. One of the famous beaches in the country is Boracay, which has been named as one of the best in the world by numerous travel magazines and agencies. Most of the tropical islands in the Philippines offers natural attractions such as forests, mountains, beaches and coral reefs which all serves as tourist attractions.
- El Nido
- Samal Island
- Panglao Island
- Cuyo Archipelago
- Mactan Island
- Bantayan Island
- Malapascua Island
- Coron Island
- Pamalican Island
- Caramoan Peninsula
- White Island
- Camotes Islands
- Puerto Galera
- Hundred Islands
- Santa Ana, Cagayan
- Great Santa Cruz Island
- Siargao Island
- Apo Island
- Siquijor Island
- Subic Bay
National Parks and Nature Reserves
- Banaue Rice Terraces- is a 2000-year old terraces that were carved into the mountains of Ifugao.
- Puerto Princesa Subterranean River- is an underground river that features a spectacular limestone karst landscape and represents a significant habitat for biodiversity conservation. It has been chosen as one of the New7Wonders of Nature.
- Tubbataha Reef- is an atoll coral reef located in the Sulu Sea.
- Apo Reef- is a series of coral reefs encompassing 34 square kilometers within the waters of Occidental Mindoro. It is the world's second-largest contiguous coral reef system and the largest in the country.
- Anilao - a popular diving and snorkeling destination located in Batangas which has a rich marine biodiversity.
- Mayon Volcano- is an active volcano in the province of Albay, it is famous for its perfect cone shape.
- Chocolate Hills- is an unusual geological formation in Bohol which has over 1,260 hills spread over an area of more than 50 square kilometres (20 sq mi).
- Mount Apo- is the tallest mountain in the Philippines and a popular destination for mountain activities.
- Baroque Churches of the Philippines- are four old churches located around the country built in the Spanish colonial times. Their unique architectural style is a reinterpretation of European Baroque by Chinese and Philippine craftsmen.
- Taal Volcano- is the world's smallest active volcano.
- Batanes Islands- is a province comprising ten islands that are located in the Luzon Strait.
- Hundred Islands- are islands scattered along the Lingayen Gulf with pocket beaches and coral reefs.
- Sagay Marine Reserve- is the largest marine reserve in the Philippines, covering an area of 32,000 hectares.
- Loboc River- is a river on Bohol which offers a vista of lush tropical vegetation such as nipa palms, coconut trees, banana groves, and bushes.
- Mount Pinatubo- is a volcano which erupted on 1991. After the major eruption a crater lake was formed called Lake Pinatubo.
- Pagsanjan Falls- is one of the most famous waterfalls in the country located in the province of Laguna.
- Tabon Cave- are a set of caves north of Quezon municipality, in the southwestern part of the province of Palawan.
- Lake Balinsasayao- is one of two small but deep crater lakes rising 1,000 feet (300 m) above sea level
- Biak-na-Bato National Park- is centered on a mountain gorge sliced by the Balaong River. More than a hundred caves of varying sizes and crystalline mineral formations are spread across the park.
- Balbalasang-Balbalan National Park- is a protected area located in the municipality of Balbalan, Kalinga. The park covers an area of 1,338 hectares
- Mount Pulag- the highest mountain in the island of Luzon, famous for hiking activities.
- Mount Kitanglad- is an inactive volcano located in the Kitanglad Mountain Range in Bukidnon province on Mindanao island.
- Quezon Memorial Circle- is a national park and shrine located in Quezon City.
Other places of interest
- Metro Manila: Intramuros, Fort Santiago, National Museum of the Philippines, Rizal Park, Manila Bay, Entertainment City, Paco Park, SM Mall of Asia, SM City North EDSA, La Mesa Dam, Museum of the Filipino People, Manila Ocean Park, Bahay Tsinoy, Casa Manila, Cultural Center of the Philippines
- North Luzon: Baler, Bangui Bay, Barasoain Church, Bolinao, Callao Cave, Cape Bojeador, Capones Island, Marcos Museum, Mount Arayat, Mount Data, Palaui Island, Paoay Church, San Antonio, San Juan, Santa Maria
- South Luzon: Basilica de San Martin de Tours, Cagsawa Ruins, Calamba Rizal Shrine, Carabao Island, Camsur Watersports Complex, Corregidor Island, Donsol, Enchanted Kingdom, Lake Caliraya, Mount Banahaw, Mount Bulusan, Mount Halcon, Nasugbu, Naujan Lake, San Juan, Sibuyan Island, Villa Escudero
- Visayas: Bohol Churches, Capul Island, Carcar, Concepcion, Guimaras, Guiuan, Kalibo, Lake Danao, Miagao, Mount Kanlaon, Olango Islands, Pescador Island, Silay, Southern Leyte
- Mindanao: Agusan Marsh, Butuan, Fort Pilar, Glan, Lake Mainit, Lake Sebu, Limunsudan Falls, Malaybalay, Maria Cristina Falls, Mati, Mount Hamiguitan, Mount Kalatungan, Mount Malindang, Tinuy-an Falls, Mount Apo, Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park
- "Boracay named 2012 world's best island". ABS-CBN News. January 26, 2013.
- Contribution of Tourism Industry to the Economy posts 5.9 percent in 2011 published by the National Statistical Coordination Board; accessed 2013-09-27.
- "Natural Resources and Environment in the Philippines". (n.d.). eTravel Pilipinas. Retrieved January 22, 2009.
- "Visitor Arrivals to the Philippines Reached Record-High 4.3 Million in 2012". Department of Tourism. Retrieved January 26, 2013.
- "The Philippines' best beaches and islands". CNN Travel. Retrieved September 27, 2013.
- "It's More Fun in the Philippines official website".
- Calderon, Justin (5 March 2013). "Philippine tourism to create 3.6m jobs". Inside Investor. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
- Department of Tourism (Philippines), Tourism Statistics, retrieved June 8, 2012
- "Tourist arrivals breach 3 million mark". Retrieved September 9, 2013.
- "Manila 11th most attractive shopping destination in Asia Pacific –study". Yahoo! Philippines. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
- "BORACAY named 2012 No.1 World’s Best Island". Boracay Beach Live. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- "Boracay named world's 2nd best beach". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
- "Relaxation, nightlife both more fun in Boracay". Yahoo! Philippines. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- "Cagayan de Oro’s White Water Rafting". Philippine Postal Corporation. June 18, 2012. Retrieved September 13, 2012.
- "Top 10 Islands". World's Best Awards 2011. Travel + Leisure Magazine.
- "Taal Volcano, world's smallest active volcano". Go Backpacking. January 26, 2013.
- "Sagay Marine reserve wows guvs". November 22, 2010. Retrieved April 16, 2012.
- de Ferranti, Jonathan; Aaron Maizlish. "Philippine Mountains - 29 Mountain Summits with Prominence of 1,500 meters or greater". Retrieved 2011-01-31.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Philippines.|
- Department of Tourism Philippines
- It's More Fun in the Philippines (Official Tourism Website)
- Philippine Department of Tourism (North America Website)