Foreign arrivals to the Philippines at all-time high

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Boats in Subic Bay, Philippines © Arno Maierbrugger

Foreign visitor arrivals in the Philippines reached an all-time high of 3.7 million in the first half of 2018, the country’s Department of Tourism (DOT) announced on July 19, saying the number was up by 10.4 per cent relative to the 3.3 million arrivals recorded in the same period in 2017 – and this despite the temporary closure of popular holiday island Boracay.

“The DOT’s continuous marketing promotions, aggressive actions to create new air routes and develop new tourism products, travel facilitation and confidence in tourism investments drummed up the industry and resulted [in] this stellar performance,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat said.

For the month of June, 528,747 tourists arrived in the Philippines, an 11.35-per cent increase from the same month last year. Tourism officials are confident that the year-end target of 7.5 million will be achieved.

Visitors from China contributed significantly to the record numbers. Chinese tourist arrivals to the Philippines were up by 44 per cent to around 560,000 for the first five months of the year. The tourism ministry expects to count between 1.2 million and 1.5 million Chinese arrivals this year, up from some 970,000 in 2017. Chinese visitors are now the Philippines’ top source of foreign visitors, dislodging the US.

However, DOT spokesperson Bong Bengzon said the government also hopes to attract more tourists from other countries such as India, France, Spain and Russia, as well as from countries in the Middle East.

Overall, the Philippines wants to attract 12 million visitors annually before current President Rodrigo Duterte’s term ends in 2022, which is a fairly ambitious target.

But the number of foreign tourist to the Philippines still looks meagre when compared to the most popular holiday destination in Southeast Asia, Thailand. The country reached more than three million visitors in June 2018 alone, expects to welcome 37.5 million foreign visitors in 2018 and a whopping 40 million in 2019, of which more than ten million would be from China.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Boats in Subic Bay, Philippines © Arno Maierbrugger

Foreign visitor arrivals in the Philippines reached an all-time high of 3.7 million in the first half of 2018, the country’s Department of Tourism (DOT) announced on July 19, saying the number was up by 10.4 per cent relative to the 3.3 million arrivals recorded in the same period in 2017 – and this despite the temporary closure of popular holiday island Boracay.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Boats in Subic Bay, Philippines © Arno Maierbrugger

Foreign visitor arrivals in the Philippines reached an all-time high of 3.7 million in the first half of 2018, the country’s Department of Tourism (DOT) announced on July 19, saying the number was up by 10.4 per cent relative to the 3.3 million arrivals recorded in the same period in 2017 – and this despite the temporary closure of popular holiday island Boracay.

“The DOT’s continuous marketing promotions, aggressive actions to create new air routes and develop new tourism products, travel facilitation and confidence in tourism investments drummed up the industry and resulted [in] this stellar performance,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat said.

For the month of June, 528,747 tourists arrived in the Philippines, an 11.35-per cent increase from the same month last year. Tourism officials are confident that the year-end target of 7.5 million will be achieved.

Visitors from China contributed significantly to the record numbers. Chinese tourist arrivals to the Philippines were up by 44 per cent to around 560,000 for the first five months of the year. The tourism ministry expects to count between 1.2 million and 1.5 million Chinese arrivals this year, up from some 970,000 in 2017. Chinese visitors are now the Philippines’ top source of foreign visitors, dislodging the US.

However, DOT spokesperson Bong Bengzon said the government also hopes to attract more tourists from other countries such as India, France, Spain and Russia, as well as from countries in the Middle East.

Overall, the Philippines wants to attract 12 million visitors annually before current President Rodrigo Duterte’s term ends in 2022, which is a fairly ambitious target.

But the number of foreign tourist to the Philippines still looks meagre when compared to the most popular holiday destination in Southeast Asia, Thailand. The country reached more than three million visitors in June 2018 alone, expects to welcome 37.5 million foreign visitors in 2018 and a whopping 40 million in 2019, of which more than ten million would be from China.

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