Tourists arrivals grow 15.6% in 11 months
Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - January 25, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Tourist arrivals in 2019 likely hit the 8.2-million target as the number of international visitors has already reached 7.4 million in 11 months of the year, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said.

Data from the DOT show that foreign arrivals from January to November grew 15.58 percent to 7.4 million, surpassing 2018’s full year arrivals of 7.1 million.

In November alone, foreign arrivals jumped 21.25 percent to 684,063 from 564,169 in the same month in 2018.

“The continued increase in tourist arrivals through November ensures we would have achieved a year-end total that surpasses that of the previous year,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

“But, what’s more important is we have launched a successful movement for sustainable tourism,” she added.

Under the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP), the Philippines is targeting to reach 8.2 million foreign arrivals in 2019.

It added that the country’s successful hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) is expected to boost last year’s upward trend in monthly foreign visitor figures that started to grow in October.

“We are just happy that our collected efforts paid off with the year-end projects indicating an outstanding performance of the tourism industry,” Romulo-Puyat said.

Korea remained the country’s top source market in the 11 months of 2019 with a total of 1.79 million arrivals, a 23.16 percent rise from 1.45 million in the same period the year before.

China came in second with a total of 1.6 million arrivals, 40.20 percent higher than the 1.16 million arrivals in 2018.

The US retained the third spot with 954,952 arrivals, a 2.70 percent increase, while Japan placed fourth with 623,409 arrivals, up by 7.85 percent.

Taiwan closed the top five with a total of 305,570 arrivals, up by 37.07 percent.

Other top source markets include Australia with 249, 235 arrivals; Canada with 208,199 arrivals; UK with 187,164 arrivals; Singapore with 145,579 arrivals; Malaysia with 129,150 arrivals; India with 125, 604 arrivals; and Germany with 90,983 arrivals.

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