A list of the best tourist destinations in the world, according to travel websites, will be revealed next week as the Philippines embarks on a new five-year, $200 billion tourism and cultural revival plan.
Tourism experts say it will be the first time that the Philippines has a tourism boom in the past 10 years.
But there’s no shortage of potential challenges as a country that was one of the world’s worst places to be born and raised is now experiencing a surge in the number of tourists.
The country has had more than 2 million arrivals in the last year, according the Philippine Tourism Authority, which says the figure is up from a peak of 3.2 million in 2010.
The Philippines has been struggling with a declining birth rate for a decade, and the economic downturn has led to an influx of foreign workers, many of whom are young Filipinos who are drawn to the country’s thriving tourist industry.
A growing number of visitors also come to the Philippines to see the country from a cultural perspective, as the country strives to promote itself as an international tourism hub.
The number of international visitors to the tiny archipelago, which has a population of just 2.4 million, has increased dramatically, to more than 4.5 million in the first half of 2017.
According to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), tourism in the country has grown by 6.3 percent in the year to June 2018.
But that growth was overshadowed by a sharp drop in international arrivals, as some foreign visitors, including from the United States, are being held back.
The ASEAN report said the Philippines is the most vulnerable region to rising sea levels due to the massive destruction caused by Typhoon Haiyan.
It said that as a result, a further 13.2 percent of the population is vulnerable to flooding.
The country is also experiencing a massive increase in pollution due to a growing population and the construction of more hotels, schools and hospitals.
It has also been hit by a spate of natural disasters, with at least 16 deaths and at least 200,000 people forced to evacuate.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, who is due to visit China next week, has vowed to put a halt to the wave of tourism.
In addition to the new tourism plans, the Philippines hopes to increase the number and size of its own tourism industry, which accounts for more than 50 percent of GDP, by building more hotels and other commercial establishments.
China is the Philippines’ largest trading partner, and China has expressed its willingness to invest more in the tourism industry.