Tourism in the Philippines

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Boracay, named as one the best island in the world by numerous travel magazines.[1]

Tourism is a major contributor to the economy of the Philippines, contributing 5.9% to the Philippine GDP in 2011.[2] The Philippines is an archipelagic country composed of 7,107 islands. The country's rich biodiversity has been the main tourist attraction of the Philippines.[3] It's beaches, mountains, rainforests, islands and diving spots serves as one of the country's most popular tourist destinations. Aside from nature, the country's rich historical and cultural heritage are also one of the well-known attractions of the Philippines.

Since 2010, South Korea remained as the largest source of visitors to the Philippines. In 2013, a total of 1.17 million South Koreans have visited the Philippines, it is followed by the United States, Japan, China, Australia and Taiwan.[4] In 2013, the country attracted 4,681,307 visitors.[5]


El Nido, famous for its majestic karst limestone formations[6]

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,[7] 11.2 percent higher than the 3.5 million registered in 2010.

In 2012, the Philippines recorded 4.27 million tourist arrivals, after the Department of Tourism launched a widely publicized tourism marketing campaign titled "It's More Fun In the Philippines".[8]

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 billion 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.[9]



Tourism Statistics[10]
Year Foreign
1996 2,049,367
1997 2,222,523
1998 2,149,357
1999 2,170,514
2000 1,992,169
2001 1,796,893
2002 1,932,677
2003 1,907,226
2004 2,291,347
2005 2,623,084
2006 2,843,335
2007 3,091,993
2008 3,139,422
2009 3,017,099
2010 3,520,471
2011 3,917,454[7]
2012 4,272,811[11]
2013 4,681,307[12]

A resort on Mactan Island, Cebu.

Top 10 international visitors[edit]

Rank Country 2011 2012 2013
1  South Korea 925,204 1,031,155 1,165,789
2  United States 624,527 652,626 674,564
3  Japan 375,496 412,474 433,705
4  China 243,137 250,883 426,352
5  Australia 170,736 191,150 213,023
6  Singapore 137,802 148,215 175,034
7  Taiwan 181,738 216,511 139,099
8  Canada 117,423 123,699 131,381
9  United Kingdom 112,106 113,282 122,759
10  Malaysia 91,752 114,513 109,437


Crisologo Street in Vigan

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;[13] 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.[14] Boracay was also named as the second best beach in the world.[15] Aside from its white sand beaches, Boracay is also known for being a popular destination for relaxation, tranquility and for an exciting nightlife.[16]

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's central business district
Skyline of Cebu City
The mountain city of Baguio
Aerial view of Davao City

Beaches and Islands[edit]

Alona Beach in Panglao Island, Bohol.
An outrigger canoe over the waters of White Island.

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.[18] 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.

National Parks and Nature Reserves[edit]

Other places of interest[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Boracay named 2012 world's best island". ABS-CBN News. January 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ Contribution of Tourism Industry to the Economy posts 5.9 percent in 2011 published by the National Statistical Coordination Board; accessed 2013-09-27.
  3. ^ "Natural Resources and Environment in the Philippines". (n.d.). eTravel Pilipinas. Retrieved January 22, 2009.
  4. ^ "The Philippines Hosted 4.7 Million International Visitors in 2013". Department of Tourism. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  5. ^ "The Philippines Hosted 4.7 Million International Visitors in 2013". Department of Tourism. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  6. ^ "The Philippines' best beaches and islands". CNN Travel. Retrieved September 27, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b [1]
  8. ^ "It's More Fun in the Philippines official website". 
  9. ^ Calderon, Justin (5 March 2013). "Philippine tourism to create 3.6m jobs". Inside Investor. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  10. ^ Department of Tourism (Philippines), Tourism Statistics, retrieved June 8, 2012 
  11. ^ [2]
  12. ^ "The Philippines Hosted 4.7 Million International Visitors in 2013". Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Manila 11th most attractive shopping destination in Asia Pacific –study". Yahoo! Philippines. Retrieved March 26, 2013. 
  14. ^ "BORACAY named 2012 No.1 World’s Best Island". Boracay Beach Live. Retrieved February 21, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Boracay named world's 2nd best beach". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved March 30, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Relaxation, nightlife both more fun in Boracay". Yahoo! Philippines. Retrieved February 21, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Cagayan de Oro’s White Water Rafting". Philippine Postal Corporation. June 18, 2012. Retrieved September 13, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Top 10 Islands". World's Best Awards 2011. Travel + Leisure Magazine. 
  19. ^ "Taal Volcano, world's smallest active volcano". Go Backpacking. January 26, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Sagay Marine reserve wows guvs". November 22, 2010. Retrieved April 16, 2012. 
  21. ^ de Ferranti, Jonathan; Aaron Maizlish. "Philippine Mountains - 29 Mountain Summits with Prominence of 1,500 meters or greater". Retrieved 2011-01-31. 

External links[edit]