Tourist arrivals breach 4 M in 8 months

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Foreign arrivals breached the four million mark in the first eight months as new key markets for Philippine tourism emerge, an official of the Department of Tourism(DOT) said.

In the Philippine Aviation Day forum yesterday, Tourism Undersecretary Rolando Canizal announced that international arrivals reached 4.4 million from January to August, up 10 percent year -on-year.

For this year, the tourism department aims to hit the seven million mark in international arrivals, higher than the 5.9 million arrivals recorded in 2016.

Canizal said the growth in arrivals was driven by the efforts of the government and the  private sector, particularly hoteliers, airlines, to promote tourism across the country.

He said the country’s tourist arrivals in August continued to be driven by key markets and as well as the entrance of new markets.

“Our key markets continues to be dominated by the north Asian markets,” Canizal said.

South Korea accounted for 24 percent of foreign arrivals during the period. Other top Asian source markets are China, Japan and Taiwan.

Canizal said India is emerging as a new source market for Philippine tourism, as it now ranks the 12th largest source market for the Philippines. This was attributed to “the very good connection of the Philippines and India.”

Earlier this year, the DOT said it was moving for the Visa Upon Arrival (VUA) option for Indian nationals visiting the country in order to attract more tourists.

Canizal earlier cited the large population of India as potential driver of tourist arrivals growth.

For this year, Cañizal said an estimated 100,000 tourists are expected to visit the Philippines.

Apart from India, other emerging source markets for Philippine tourism are Russia, which recorded a  27 percent growth in arrivals in August, France (22 percent growth), Indonesia (20 percent) and as well as other Southern European countries.

“Our market development crew, especially our route development team, continues to explore new markets,” Canizal said.


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