The Philippines gears up for a stronger tourism industry with the revitalized campaigns and projects of the Department of Tourism (DOT) headlining 2017 under Secretary Corazon Wanda Tulfo-Teo’s administration.

In 2015, an estimated 5.3 million international travelers visited the country. 2016 achieved bigger growth with more than 5.9 million arrivals, with December recording the biggest volume of inbound visitors with 576,638 international arrivals, a 4.27% increase compared to that of December 2015.

“The Philippine tourism industry reached a new milestone as the country welcomed a total of 5,967,005 arrivals, closely hitting the Six Million Arrival mark. This volume escalated by 11.31% compared to the 2015 arrivals. I am optimistic that the tourism industry will remain as one of the top pillars in boosting Philippine economy with this positive trend in increase of arrivals,” said Teo.

Teo added that DOT targets to attract more tourist arrivals in the Philippines projecting 12 million for international inbound and 89 million for domestic by year 2022.

For a start-up, DOT launched its new tourism campaign ads which give a deeper meaning to the branding, “It’s More Fun in the Philippines’, showcasing the renowned Filipino hospitality and friendliness.

Teo is confident that this will be a good year for the Philippines as a series of international events were lined up and boosted tourism industry.

DOT and its marketing arm, the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Philippines, aim to make the Philippines a focal point of gastronomic interest worldwide with Madrid Fusion 2017 featuring the traditional gastronomy congress and a trade expo, as well as the month-long Flavors of the Philippines Festival across the Philippines.

On the other hand, the Philippines hosting of ASEAN Summit will not only strengthen ties between member nations as dynamic, vibrant partners, but will also serve as an avenue to showcase the Philippines, with its many wonderful attractions, as a great travel destination.

“The holding of numerous high-impact international events will help stimulate other ancillary components which yield greater opportunities for employment and revenues for government and the private sector. We are working hard on increasing arrivals and we aim to promote more tourist attractions and activities and to double availability of flights and hotels,” said Teo.

With the full support from the national government and support agencies such as the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Local Government Units (LGUs), as well as private tourism stakeholders such as the airline industry, hotels and travel and tour operators, there is no doubt that her vision will very soon become a reality.

Indeed, the Philippines is fast becoming one of the world’s premier go-to destinations not only for travel and adventure but also for MICE, business, arts, culture, lifestyle and entertainment. With the new direction from the DOT chief and her untiring commitment to promote the country globally, Philippines tourism is geared towards unstoppable growth and development.