Tourist arrivals sustain strong growth in March
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - May 19, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine tourism industry maintained a double-digit growth in the first three months of 2016, reaching 1.6 million international arrivals during the period.

Latest data from the Department of Tourism (DOT) showed the number of international tourists rose 12 percent to 510,270 in March from 456,163 in the same period last year.

For three consecutive months, the country’s tourism industry grew double digit at 13 percent in January, 20 percent in February and 12 percent in March.

Receipts from tourism activities for the third month of the year increased seven percent to P18.3 billion from the P17.1 billion earnings generated a year ago.

Aggregate receipts for the January to March 2016 period reached P67.7 billion.

In terms of regions, East Asia contributed the biggest arrivals for the country in March with 232,954 visitors or almost half (46 percent) of total visitor volume.

North America accounted for 18 percent of the market with 92,182 while the ASEAN region comprised eight percent with 41,232 arrivals. Australia and the Pacific and Northern Europe contributed six percent each.

Korea remained the top contributor of international tourists with total 383,544 arrivals or a 24 percent share in total inbound traffic.

The US supplied the second biggest inbound arrival with 231,233 visitors while the Chinese market also grew and ranked third with a total 184,512 visitors. Meanwhile, Japan provided 143,624 arrivals and Australia recorded 67,265 visitors.

Other top visitors include Canada with 53,301 arrivals, Taiwan with 52,102, United Kingdom with 49,097, Singapore with 44,441 and Malaysia with 36,601 arrivals.

Moreover, Korea provided P4 billion in receipts followed by US with P3.1 billion. Australia placed third with P1.5 billion while Japan and Canada contributed P1.1 billion and P1 billion, respectively.

Spending patterns for March showed average daily expenditure was estimated at P4,933.59 while average length of stay registered at nine nights.

For 2016, DOT has set a new target of 6.5 million international arrivals as it continues to bank on key and emerging source markets. Total expected tourist receipts remain pegged at $6.5 billion.

Tourism contributes eight percent to the country’s total gross domestic product and is the third largest dollar earning sector next to the semiconductor and BPO (business process outsourcing) industries.

Its contribution is seen to reach 10 to 12 percent in the next three to five years.


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