MANILA: The Philippines' tourism industry has generated some 245 billion pesos (roughly 4.67 billion U.S. dollars) in receipts from international visitors during the first six months of 2019, the Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) said on Friday.
The corresponding total receipts from the six-month arrivals increased by 17.57 percent from the half-year gross revenues in 2018, reports Xinhua.DOT data showed the highest monthly receipts of 48 billion pesos (roughly 915.4 million U.S. dollars) was recorded in February 2019.
"So far, the DOT is keeping up with its target to attract high spending and longer staying tourists in the Philippines," Philippine Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a statement.
"As proof that our guests truly find it more fun in the Philippines," Romulo-Puyat said the average daily expenditure and the average length of stay per tourist reached 120.60 U.S. dollars and 9.01 nights, respectively, which is 28.64 percent and 1.81 percent higher than the same period last year. "This is based on the data from a visitor sample survey," she added.
"These economic numbers are exciting but the real purpose of why the government is working hard to push these numbers up year-after-year is for the Filipino people," Romulo-Puyat further said.
She said the tourism industry was responsible for 5.4 million jobs generated in 2018, contributing 12.7 percent or 2.2 trillion pesos (41.96 billion U.S. dollars) to the country's gross domestic product (GDP).
"It is the number of lives changed for the better by tourism that would truly count," she said.Earlier, the DOT said more than 4.1 million foreigners have visited the country from January to June this year, indicating an 11.43 percent increase from 2018.
The Philippines is hoping to reach its target of 8.2 million foreign tourist arrivals in 2019, a million higher than the 2018 arrivals.