ASEAN COUNTRIES RANKING BASED ON INTERNATIONAL TOURISM RECEIPT PER CAPITA
The tourism industry is so important for the countries in the ASEAN region because most of them are endowed with natural wonders, unique landscape, magnificent places and a rich biodiversity.
The growth rate of the ASEAN tourism in the last several years (pre-pandemic period) has been in an increasing trend, and it always had been very high. As per the U.N. World Tourism Organization record, the ASEAN region was the most visited by international tourists in the whole Asia-Pacific region. Had the growth rate been sustained, its tourism receipts could have contributed to several billions of dollars to the region’s economic growth.
Hence, governments of the ASEAN countries often set their policies to achieve an increased GDP based on the indications of International Tourist Arrival (I.T.A.), and International Tourism Receipt (ITR).
For example, if Thailand projects a 5% GDP for 2023 from 4.5% the year before, Thailand has to set for a higher I.T.A. that would translate to a higher ITR.
To do this, you need to take a closer look at what the Philippines has been doing somewhat successfully, as an example. Because, the fact is, although its I.T.A. is the lowest amongst the 6 biggest ASEAN economies, it trumps 4 of those on a per capita basis. And, this is partly due to the Filipinos’ intelligent strategy of swaying international tourists to extend their vacation and splurge their money on services, such as medical tourism, island hopping and cultural immersion programs, to name a few.
Which is a better indicator between a higher I.T.A. and a higher ITR?
The answer to that question is simple. A high ITR or International Tourism Receipt.
It’s a no-brainer that a country’s end goal is to earn more so that it would have adequate funds to pump its economic development.
The proceeds that the government will receive from ITR can help a government becomes cash-rich. It will make a government able to afford to carry out its infrastructure, health, education and research programs.