Department of Tourism (DOT) said that foreign arrivals grew 9.76 percent to 3.49 million arrivals from 3.18 million arrivals in the same period last year.
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Tourist arrivals grow 9.8% in 5 months
Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - July 10, 2019 - 12:00am

 MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines continues to draw interest from international tourists as foreign arrivals nearly hit the 3.5 million mark in the first five months of the year.

In a statement, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said that foreign arrivals grew 9.76 percent to 3.49 million arrivals from 3.18 million arrivals in the same period last year.

The five-month figures were pulled up by arrivals in May as it increased 15.62 percent to 621,719 arrivals from 537,743 last year.

Korea remained the country’s top source market, accounting for 22.6 percent of total arrivals during the period with 788,530 arrivals, an 11.76 percent rise from the previous year.

China followed Korea with 733,769 arrivals, a 30.96 percent increase, accounting for a 21 percent share of total arrivals.

US and Japan grabbed the third and fourth spot with 472,469 and 281,988 arrivals, respectively.

Taiwan ranked fifth with 128,986 arrivals, up 27.2 percent.

Other top source markets include Australia with 123,851; Canada with 114,605; United Kingdom with 92,914; and Malaysia with 62,144.

“The numbers are very encouraging,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

“This only shows that the preservation of our environment can go hand in hand with economic gains,” she said.

Under the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP), the Philippines is targeting to hit 8.2 million foreign arrivals this year, a 15 percent growth from the 7.1 million foreign arrivals in 2018.

Puyat earlier attributed the continued rise of international arrivals to the improving access and air connectivity in the country, driven by the opening of more international gateways such as the Mactan Cebu International Airport and the New Bohol Panglao International Airport.

Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. earlier emphasized the importance of route development and aviation in tourism promotions.

“When you talk about connectivity, you have to look at two things, one is the flights that will be launched or mounted by the carriers themselves,foreign or local, and the second is the level of preparedness on the supply side,” Bengzon said.

Bengzon said for the first three months of 2019, the DOT’s route development team bagged an additional 1.4 million new seats.

DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM INTERNATIONAL TOURISTS
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