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Tourism in the Philippines

Tourism in the Philippines

the Philippines recorded a total of one million tourists in 2020, ranking 81st in the world in absolute terms.

The fact that larger countries regularly perform better in a comparison of the absolute number of guests is obvious. By putting the tourist numbers in relation to the population of the Philippines, the result is much more comparable picture: With 0.013 tourists per resident, the Philippines ranked 180th in the world. In Southeast Asia, it ranked 11th.

The Philippines generated around 2.77 billion US Dollar in the tourism sector alone. This corresponds to 0.70 percent of its the gross domestic product and approximately 9 percent of all international tourism receipts in Southeast Asia.

A global comparison can be found here › International tourism


Back to overview: Philippines

The most popular city in the Philippines for international travelers is Cebu. In 2019 it reached the 67th place of the world's most popular cities with 3.54 million tourists.

Tourism in the PhilippinesOn average, each of the tourists arriving in 2020 spent about 1,579 US Dollars. Conversely, the inhabitants of the Philippines spend as much as 2,778 dollars a year when they themselves spend vacations abroad.

Popular destinations within the Philippines are mainly:
  • the island of Boracay with a particularly white and fine sandy beach
  • the capital and metropolis Manila
  • Cebu City together with the neighboring regions and diving spots
  • the island of Bohol with the Chocolate Hills, nature parks and diving areas
  • the northern Palawan (El Nido and Coron Island) with its large national park and countless small islands.


Development of the tourism sector in the Philippines from 1995 to 2020

The following chart shows the number of tourist arrivals registered in the Philippines each year. Anyone who spends at least one night in the country but does not live there for more than 12 months is considered a tourist. Insofar as the survey included the purpose of the trip, business trips and other non-tourism travel purposes have already been excluded. The number of people passing through within the same day, and e.g. crew members of ships or flights are also not considered as tourists in most countries. If the same person travels in and out more than once within the same year, each visit counts again.

Data in the chart are given in millions of tourists. The red line represents the average of all 11 countries in Southeast Asia.

Tourists per year in the Philippines

Revenues in tourism

In 1995, tourism revenues amounted to 1.14 billion USD, or about 1.3 percent of the gross national product. This corresponded to about 1.76 million tourists at that time and roughly 648 USD per person. Within 25 years, the country's dependence on tourism has increased drastically. Before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, sales took up $11.46 billion billion, 3.0 percent of gross national product. Thus, each visitor spent an average of $1,387 on their vacation in the Philippines.

In 2020, tourist receipts plummeted due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Of the $11.46 billion billion (2019), only $2.77 billion billion remained. This is a 76 percent decrease in the Philippines.

Tourism receipts in the Philippines per year

All data for the Philippines in detail

YearNumber of touristsReceipts% of GNPReceipts per tourist
20201.48 m2.77 bn $0.77 %1,867 $
20198.26 m11.46 bn $3.0 %1,387 $
20187.17 m9.72 bn $2.8 %1,355 $
20176.62 m8.35 bn $2.5 %1,261 $
20165.97 m6.29 bn $2.0 %1,054 $
20155.36 m6.41 bn $2.1 %1,196 $
20144.83 m6.06 bn $2.0 %1,254 $
20134.68 m5.60 bn $2.0 %1,196 $
20124.27 m4.96 bn $1.9 %1,161 $
20113.92 m4.05 bn $1.7 %1,035 $
20103.52 m3.44 bn $1.7 %978 $
20093.02 m2.92 bn $1.7 %967 $
20083.14 m3.29 bn $1.8 %1,049 $
20073.09 m5.52 bn $3.5 %1,786 $
20062.84 m4.05 bn $3.2 %1,425 $
20052.62 m2.86 bn $2.7 %1,091 $
20042.29 m2.39 bn $2.5 %1,043 $
20031.91 m1.82 bn $2.1 %955 $
20021.93 m2.02 bn $2.4 %1,044 $
20011.80 m2.01 bn $2.5 %1,119 $
20001.99 m2.33 bn $2.8 %1,172 $
19992.17 m2.65 bn $3.1 %1,222 $
19982.15 m1.43 bn $1.9 %666 $
19972.22 m2.35 bn $2.5 %1,056 $
19962.05 m1.55 bn $1.6 %757 $
19951.76 m1.14 bn $1.3 %648 $


Our data on tourist numbers, revenues and expenditures are based on information from the World Tourism Organization. However, to ensure international comparability, the data for some years or countries were manually researched and corrected if they obviously included visitors without overnight stays. In these cases, the data were taken from the official communications of the respective national tourism authorities.

The WTO additionally points out that in some countries the number of tourists is only counted at airports, in others also at border crossings or even hotels. A comprehensive and reliable indication is therefore hardly possible in any country.

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