Tourism

Warm hospitality

Tourism is one of our most labor-intensive industries. Last year alone, 14 out of 100 employed Filipinos were in tourism-related sectors. The Tourism industry continues to be a major driver of employment in the country.

It provides jobs not only to the well-educated executives of hotels and resorts, for instance, but also livelihood to people from communities where tourism thrives, like the boatmen and the weavers.

A noticeable part of Filipino culture is the warm hospitality of the Filipinos, which attracts newcomers to visit the country. Based on the Department of Tourism (DOT) Visitor Sample Survey, warm hospitality is the top-ranking element that visitors liked most about the Philippines.

Prime Location

The Philippines is among the top wellness tourism hotspots in Southeast Asia, along with Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia. We are recognized as among the world’s top agri-tourism destinations following the sector’s push for more revenue streams for farmers in 2019.

Based on Marine Diving Magazine, the Philippines was number one for the first time in the Overseas Diving Category. The magazine cited the Philippines as “the first pick for many diving lovers.” With worldwide recognition, the Tourism industry has a great deal of potential. Palawan, Siargao, and Boracay also made it to the top 10 in Asia list, ranking fourth, fifth, and sixth, respectively, to give the Philippines the most slots in the ranking by the prestigious international travel magazine.

According to the DOT, based on Condé Nast Traveler’s (CNT) 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards, the Cebu and Visayas Islands are named as Top Islands in Asia, leading three other Philippine islands in the top 10.

Strong Potential

According to the United World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, the Philippines can restart and recover. Tourism is ranked second among the biggest exports in the country, and the growth in international visitor arrivals and domestic travel movements will bring with it an increase in foreign investment opportunities.

Key Statistics

US$115M

The Tourism contribution to Direct Gross Value Added (TDGVA) amounted to International tourist arrivals to the Philippines

23%

Increased inbound tourism

10%

Domestic tourism expenditure

10%

Share of inbound tourism expenditure to the country’s total exports

TOURISM INDUSTRY OVERVIEW

The Department of Tourism (DOT) underscored the competitive edge of the country as the third-largest English-speaking country in Asia, with 94% percent of its population English-speaking.

The Philippines is also a leading destination for English as a Second Language (ESL). Various accommodation enterprises are investing and continuously expanding in the Philippines such as Mercure Hotel (Europe), Madison, Marriott and Hilton.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Creative Cities recognize the concept of creative tourism, defined as a travel associated with creative experience and participation of Cebu and Baguio as a part of the world’s “246 creative cities”.

According to the Global Medical Tourism Index (MTI), the Philippines is ranked 24th in the world. The main contributors to domestic tourism expenditure growth are Accommodation Services for Visitors, Miscellaneous, and Country-specific Tourism Characteristic Services.

Government-backed incentives

The Tourism industry offers attractive incentives for foreign investors, including:

  • Duty and tax-free Importation of Capital Equipment, spare parts, and accessories
  • 3-6 years of income tax holiday
  • Employment of foreign nationals

To ensure the country’s tourism sector is conducive for investment and business opportunities, the Philippine government, through TIEZA, the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority, provides the following fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to developers of Tourism Enterprise Zones or TEZs and tourism enterprises located therein.

  • Six-year-income tax holiday
  • Gross income tax
  • Tax credit on local supplies
  • Net operating loss carryover
  • Tax and duty-free importation of:
    • Capital investment and equipment
    • Transportation equipment and spare parts
    • Goods and services
  • Social responsibility incentive
  • Employment of foreign nationals
  • Special investor’s resident visa
  • Lease of land
  • Foreign currency transactions facilitation
  • Requisition of investment

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