By Lourdes O. Pilar, Researcher

THE TOURISM industry’s contribution to the economy grew in 2019, Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data released on Friday showed.

Preliminary data from the PSA showed tourism’s direct gross value added (TDGVA) accounting for 12.7% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019, bigger than the revised 12.3% in 2018.

TDGVA measures the tourism-related value created by various industries. It is based on the results of the Philippine Tourism Satellite Accounts report, in which the PSA compiles from the Department of Tourism.

Last year, the combined economic contribution of tourism activities amounted to P2.48 trillion, up 10.8% from the previous year’s P2.24 trillion.

Last year’s TDGVA was the highest since 2000, based on available PSA data.

Accommodation services for visitors had a 20.9% share of gross value added, followed by country-specific tourism characteristics services and miscellaneous with 17.9% and 16.1%, respectively.

Domestic tourism expenditures, which covers spending of resident visitors within the country either as a domestic trip or part of an international trip, amounted to P3.14 trillion last year, 10.4% more than P2.85 trillion in 2018. Domestic tourism expenditures were equivalent to 22% of household spending in 2019, according to PSA.

Meanwhile, tourism expenditure by non-residents amounted to P548.76 billion in 2019, up 23.2% from P445.58 billion in 2018.

Compared to the country’s total exports, the share of inbound tourism expenditure was 9.9%.

Employment in tourism industries was estimated at 5.7 million in 2019 or 13.5% of the total working population. For that year, it was up 3.1% from a year earlier.