The Philippine tourism industry flourished in the 1970s and early 1980s but declined in the mid 1980s, with the average length of tourist stay falling from 12. 6 days in earlier years to 8. 9 days in 1988. In 1987, tourism growth was slower in the Philippines than in other Southeast Asian countries. About 1. 2 million tourists visited the Philippines in 1992, which was a record high in the number of tourist visits since 1989. In 2000, the Philippines’ tourist arrivals totaled 2. 2 million.
In 2003, it totaled 2,838,000, a growth of almost 29%, and was expected to grow as much as 3. 4 million in 2007. In the first quarter of 2007, the tourist arrival in the Philippines grew as much as 20% in same period last year. In 2011, the Department of Tourism recorded 3. 9 million tourists visiting the country, 11. 2 percent higher than the 3. 5 million registered in 2010. In 2012, the Philippines recorded 4. 27 million tourist arrivals, after the Department of Tourism launched a widely publicized tourism marketing campaign titled “It’s More Fun In the Philippines”.
The tourism industry employed 3. 8 million Filipinos, or 10. 2 per cent of national employment in 2011, according to data gathered by the National Statistical Coordination Board. In a greater thrust by the Aquino administration to pump billions of dollars into the sector, tourism is expected to employ 7. 4 million people by 2016, or about 18. 8 per cent of the total workforce, contributing 8 per cent to 9 per cent to the nation’s GDP.