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PH foreign tourist arrivals hit over 1 million —DOT

More than 1 million international travelers have arrived in the Philippines in the first three months of 2023, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said Wednesday.

Speaking before stakeholders, DOT Secretary Christina Frasco said she “fully foresees” the total recovery of the tourism sector as 1,152,590 international tourists visited the country as of March 15, 2023.

“In less than three months, we have logged more than a million visitors into the Philippines,” Frasco said in her speech during the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) 2023-2028 Tourism Stakeholders’ National Summit in Manila.

“The country is well on its way to tourism recovery. These figures build our confidence that we will, again, exceed our targets this year that we set at 4.8 million international arrivals and we fully foresee the full recovery of domestic recovery this year,” Frasco added.

In unveiling the NTDP 2023-2028, the Tourism chief said it will serve as a “blueprint for the strategies on how the DOT intends to continue and grow the impact of tourism upon our economy in the next few years”.

It will likewise become the “guidebook” of the industry where the DOT will “put in place mechanisms of sustainability for many, many years to come”.

Under the NTDP, the DOT outlined seven goals for the next five years to improve the sector.

Among these are the improvement of tourism infrastructure and accessibility; cohesive and comprehensive digitalization and connectivity; and enhancement of the overall tourist experience.

Also included are the equalization of tourism product development and promotion; diversification of portfolio through multidimensional tourism; maximization of domestic and international tourism; and strengthening tourism governance through close collaborations with national and local stakeholders.

Frasco also mentioned several measures the DOT is eyeing to implement including the launching of a “tourist lifecycle” mobile application that will provide information on the country’s destinations. The agency is also planning to establish a tourist assistance call center and the training of 100,000 Filipino tourism workers.

The DOT is set to formally submit the NTDP 2023-2028 to President Ferdinand  Marcos Jr. for final approval. —VAL, GMA Integrated News