TOURIST arrivals could surge to near pre-pandemic levels this year amid a continued recovery for the country's hospitality industry, a Fitch group unit said.

"We have a positive outlook for Philippines' tourist arrivals in 2024 and over the remainder of our medium-term forecast period to 2028," BMI Country Risk & Industry Research said in a June 21 report.

Tourist numbers could grow by 32.6 percent this year to 6.6 million, BMI said, up from 5.0 million in 2023 and some 81 percent of the 8.2 million arrivals in 2019.

Arrivals plunged to 1.4 million in 2020 due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

In the first quarter of this year, visitor numbers were already 21.3 percent higher at 1.6 million compared to the same period in 2023.

South Korea was the largest source market with 458,619 arrivals or 26 percent of the total. This was followed by the United States and mainland China with 264,690 (16.9 percent) and 109,568 (7.0 percent) arrivals, respectively.

Japan was fourth with 105,347, and Australia ranked fifth with 70,601.

"We expect arrivals growth to be driven by key source markets in Asia-Pacific, North America and Europe," BMI said.

It estimated that tourist arrivals would continue to increase over the medium term, fully recovering by 2025 with 8.3 million visitors in total.

By 2028, arrivals are expected to hit 9.4 million, reflecting an average annual growth rate of 14.0 percent year-on-year over the 2024–2028 period.

BMI, however, warned of short-term risks "stemming from high living costs in many markets globally and tighter credit conditions which will weigh on consumer spending, particularly on nonessential categories such as travel."

2024-06-24T16:46:12Z dg43tfdfdgfd