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Local tourists spend US$19 billion

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Filipinos visiting local tourism sites will spend US$19 billion (PhP855 billion) this year, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTT). 

The amount is close to one-third of the planned government budget for next year.

WTTC said local tourists will spend more here locally compared with the US$10.26 billion they will spend in foreign countries. WTTC said in-country tourism-related expense this year will be about 6 percent more than the US$17.68 billion spent in 2014.

The WTTC expects domestic spending to go up to the US$20-billion mark by the end of 2016. This figure includes expenditures by the country’s residents for business and leisure trips, excluding multi-use consumer durables.

Outbound spending remained flat from 2014 and is expected to grow only by about 2.5 percent to US$10.52 billion next year.

Earnings from domestic tourists are also seen to surpass international visitor spending by almost three-fold.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) is expecting US$5.7 billion in tourism receipts or foreign spending this year, a 17.8 percent increase from US$4.84 billion posted in 2014. It should also expand by around 17 percent to reach the US$7-billion target of the government in 2016.

The DOT is looking to attract around 56 million domestic tourists and 10 million international visitors by 2016.