Manila, Philippines—The tourism landscape in the Philippines is poised for a prospective uptick in the year ahead with the anticipated series of extended weekends throughout 2024.

Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco of the Department of Tourism (DOT) has expressed her optimism, citing these elongated breaks as a potential catalyst for a substantial boost to the country’s domestic tourism sector.

This positive outlook follows President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s recent announcement of the schedule for these extended holiday breaks, a move lauded by the tourism chief for its significant impact on the nation’s economic growth trajectory.

“Amidst the remarkable resurgence of our country’s tourism industry, characterized by 5.45 million international visitor arrivals in 2023, there’s an overwhelming sense of enthusiasm among travelers eager to make up for lost time, engaging in what has come to be known as ‘revenge travel.’ This fervor aligns with the steadfast strategies outlined in the Philippines’ National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) 2023-2028, aggressively pursued by the DOT,” said Secretary Frasco.

“We see these upcoming extended weekends as a timely opportunity, specifically advantageous in propelling our domestic tourism forward. I extend my heartfelt appreciation to President Marcos for recognizing the pivotal role these breaks play in not only revitalizing but also sustaining our vital tourism sector, which remains a cornerstone in propelling our country’s economic resurgence by providing opportunities for livelihood and employment,” the Tourism Chief added.

Reflecting on the statistical insights from 2022 released mid-2023, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) noted a staggering 102 million domestic trips, contributing an impressive PHP1.5 trillion to domestic tourism expenditure. Among the overall PHP1.87 trillion in internal tourism expenditure, inclusive of spending by foreign visitors and Filipinos residing abroad, a substantial PHP1.5 trillion was directly attributed to domestic tourism spending. This economic contribution stemmed from expenses by local visitors, encompassing both domestic trips and components of international travel occurring within the country’s borders.

“In these upcoming extended weekends, I strongly encourage fellow Filipinos to seize the opportunity and embark on journeys that will create lasting memories with family and friends. As you enjoy our idyllic beaches and mountainscapes, delve into the vibrant tapestry of our culture, food, and traditions as well. Beyond the popular destinations of beaches and mountains, uncover the hidden gems nestled within our countryside. These lesser-known spots hold captivating stories catering to every traveler’s taste, resonating with our tourism campaign, ‘𝘓ove The Philippines,” Secretary Frasco enthused.

“The DOT’s optimism for a tourism resurgence fueled by these extended weekends is underpinned by an unwavering belief in the Filipino spirit and the country’s inexhaustible selection of enchanting destinations. The invitation extended to all Filipinos is not merely to travel but to immerse themselves in the rich mosaic of experiences that the Philippines proudly offers. As the nation embraces these extended weekends with open arms, the hope remains high for a vibrant transformation of the tourism sector and a profound appreciation for the manifold wonders encapsulated within the Philippines’ diverse landscape,” the tourism chief added.


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