The Department of Tourism (DOT) expects the country to have 5.2 million tourist arrivals by the end of the year.
This could be the first time the Philippines will reach the five-million mark.
In his speech during the recent launch of Google’s Street View imagery at the Manila Marriott Hotel in Pasay City (Metro Manila), Domingo Ramon Enerio 3rd, chief operating officer of Tourism Promotions Board, on Friday said foreign visitors in the first six months of 2015 numbered 2.6 million and it could still possibly balloon in the following months.
The inbound visitors last year reached 4.8 million or 3.25 percent higher than the 4.6 million arrivals in 2013.
“Tourism has become a feel-good industry and a major economic contributor in the country,” Enerio said, noting that the Philippine economy has earned $6 billion from foreign travelers.
The number of domestic tourists, on the other hand, has reached 44 million (most of them were the so-called millennial travelers) and contributed P1.4 trillion to the economy since June 2015.
Enerio credited booming technology in promoting the beauty of the Philippines.
With the help of Google’s Street View imagery, he said, tourists will be able to see the image of top Philippine tourist destinations in 360-degree street-level panoramas.
“By allowing users to see a glimpse of the Philippines from wherever they are, we hope that Google Street View will inspire new visits from people who have not yet experienced the beauty of the country for themselves,” Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez said in a statement.
“And for those who have already been to the Philippines, we hope that this will give them new reasons to explore areas they may not have considered before, encouraging them to visit the Philippines again.”