The Philippines

An emerging market

The economy of the Philippines is the 39th largest in the world, according to 2013 World Bank statistics, and is also one of the emerging markets in the world. The Philippines is considered as a newly industrialized country, which has been transitioning from being one based on agriculture to one based more on services and manufacturing. According to the World Bank ICP 2011, the estimated 2011 GDP (purchasing power parity) was $543.7 billion.

Goldman Sachs estimates that by the year 2050, the Philippines will be the 14th largest economy in the world, Goldman Sachs also included the Philippines in its list of the Next Eleven economies. According to HSBC, the Philippine economy will become the 16th largest economy in the world, 5th largest economy in Asia and the largest economy in the Southeast Asian region by 2050.

International Arrivals
January to September 2010 - 2014
Visitor Arrivals by Region
September 2010 - 2014
Top 12 Markets by Volume
January to September

Philippine Tourism

The Philippines hosted a total of 3,596,523 visitors for the first nine months of 2014, registering an increase of 2.49% over its previous year’s volume of 3,509,017 for the same period. January registered the biggest arrivals of 461,383 while the highest growth of 6.27% was recorded in August. The marketing efforts and participation to international travel fairs, as well as, tourism infrastructure development help boosted arrivals to the country.

Travelers from East Asian region continued to be the biggest source of arrivals, catering 48.64% of the total with 1,749,262 visitors. Korea was the biggest contributor of arrivals at 865,950 while Japan posted the highest growth rate of 6.11%. The North American region was the second largest group in terms of arrivals contributing an aggregate of 639,440 arrivals, sharing 17.78% and recording an 8.24% increase vis-à-vis its previous year’s arrivals of 590,771 visitors. Countries in the ASEAN region recorded the third biggest arrivals of 337,392 yielding 9.38% of the total visitor volume with an output increase of 8.96% more than the year ago arrivals of 309,652 arrivals. Visitors from Australasia/Pacific constituted 5.63% of the total inbound traffic with 202,328 arrivals. This figure was 4.45% higher than the 193,704 arrivals the previous year. Inbound travelers from Northern Europe increased by 9.04% compared from 138,405 in 2013 to 150,910 arrivals in 2014. This region shared 4.20% to total inbound traffic.

Visitor Markets. Korea got the majority share of 24.08% or a total of 865,950 visitors. Outbound travelers from US increased by 7.76% with a 14.91% share to the total market with this year’s output of 536,385 arrivals compared to its year ago arrivals of 497,748. Japan continued to be in the third rank by contributing 349,100 arrivals for a share of 9.71% to the total traffic base while it grew by 6.11% from its 2013 arrivals of 329,008. Visitors from China recorded 334,672 arrivals, comprising 9.31% share. This market posted an increase of 2.33% versus its year ago arrivals of 327,054. Completing the top five visitor market is Australia by providing 156,789 visitors constituting 4.36% of the total. This market expanded by 5.78% from its volume of 148,218 a year ago.

Other high yielding markets include Singapore with 132,343 arrivals (3.68% share), Taiwan with 108,713 arrivals (3.02% share), Canada with 101,026 arrivals (2.81% share), Malaysia with 99,167 arrivals (2.76% share), United Kingdom with 98,470 arrivals (2.74% share), Hong Kong with 84,863 arrivals (2.36% share), Germany with 52,978 arrivals (1.47% share), India with 44,578 arrivals (1.24% share), Indonesia with 34,669 arrivals (0.96% share) and Saudi Arabia with 34,346 arrivals (0.95% share).

Emerging markets with substantial growth were Vietnam (+15.14%) with 22,474 arrivals, United Arab Emirates (+14.71%) with 12,410 arrivals, Italy (+13.57%) with 14,373 arrivals, New Zealand (+12.93%) with 12,115 arrivals, Spain (+10.59%) with 13,811 arrivals, and Netherlands (+10.42%) with 17,805 arrivals.

Visitor Receipts. A total of Php 157.73 billion was generated from inbound tourists for the first nine months of the year. The top five visitor markets in terms of expenditure are Korea, (Php45.08 billion), the United States (Php 30.86 billion), Australia (Php 9.99 billion), Japan (Php 8.27 billion), and China (Php 7.08 billion). Substantial contribution to visitor receipts were likewise provided by Canada (Php 5.83 billion), United Kingdom (Php 5.78 billion), Germany (Php 3.34 billion), Singapore (Php 3.00 billion) and Saudi Arabia (Php 2.84 billion).

On the other hand, visitors spent an average daily expenditure of Php 4,865.89 in September 2014, higher by 7.44% (Php 336.75) versus the Php 4,529.14 average daily expenditure reported in September 2013. The average per capita expenditure of visitors for the month is US$1,049.90 or Php 46,274.62. On the other hand, visitors stayed for an average stay of 9.51 nights, longer by 3.26% compared to the average length of stay of 9.21 nights in September 2013.

Despite a range of natural endowments and a highly service-oriented culture, the number of international tourists to the Philippines has been lower than potential (Van der Weide 2010). The Aquino Administration has set itself an ambitious target of increasing the number of foreign tourists to 10 million and domestic tourists to 56 million by 2016, from the current 4.3 million and 41 million, respectively, in 2012.

Public infrastructure bottlenecks figure prominently as a binding constraint for a more widely developed tourism sector across the Philippine archipelago. Many of the country’s prospective tourism destinations still cater to a more intrepid traveler. Flight, road, and sea connections to potential destinations frequently remain challenging and time consuming, certainly when compared to regional competitors such as Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

Data from


Tourism Top Destinations
Tourism Top Destinations
Philippine Economic Update
March 2014