Shopping is top tourist activity in Philippines

MANILA, Philippines - What do foreigners do when they visit the Philippines? They shop.

Foreign visitors spent some P35.49 billion on shopping alone in 2011, according to the National Statistical Coordination Board's (NSCB) report on the Philippine Tourism Satellite Account (PTSA) released on Tuesday, November 27.

This is higher than what they spent in 2010 which was pegged at P30.89 billion.

Shopping accounted for 22.9% of the tourism direct gross value added (TDGVA) to total gross domestic product (GDP) in 2011.

Apart from shopping, foreigners also spent some P31.84 billion on food and beverage in 2011, higher than the P30.53 billion they spent in 2010. Foreigners also spent a lot for accomodations which reached P30.44 billion in 2011, higher than the P23.8 billion in 2010.

"Shopping, food and beverage, and accommodation topped the list of consumption products among inbound tourists [foreign tourists], with 28.5%, 25.6% and 24.5% shares to the total expenditure, respectively," it added.

Based on internal tourism expenditure or the total expenditures made by foreigners and domestic tourists, the NSCB said shopping accounted for P185.94 billion in 2011.

Foreign tourists spent some P35.49 billion in the country while resident tourists spent P150.45 billion.

"Shopping had the biggest share to TDGVA at 22.9%, followed by accommodation at 11.2%, and entertainment and recreation at 6.8%," the NSCB said.

The NSCB said the share of TDGVA to total GDP, the contribution of tourism industry to the economy was 5.9% in 2011, higher than the 5.8% average in 2000 to 2010.

TDGVA, an indicator which measures the value added of different industries in response to activities of both domestic and inbound visitors, amounted to P571.3 billion in 2011, higher by 10.2% than in the previous year.  

Inbound tourism expenditure, which refers to the expenditure of non-resident visitors such as foreign visitors and Philippine passport holders permanently residing abroad within the Philippines, posted a double-digit growth of 13.9% in 2011, amounting to P124.5 billion from P109.2 billion in 2010.

Domestic tourism expenditure, which includes expenditure of resident visitors within the country either as domestic trip or part of international trip, grew largely by 27.1%, to P995.7 billion from P783.4 billion.     

Share of tourism employment to total employment in the country slightly increased at 10.3% from the previous year’s 10.2%. Employment in tourism industries was estimated at 3.8 million in 2011, higher by 3.5% from last year’s 3.7 million. - Rappler.com