The DOT said foreign arrivals totaled to 6,161,503 from January to September, a 14.37 percent increase from 5,387,458 arrivals in the same period last year.
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Tourist arrivals hit 6 million in Q3
Ghio Ong, Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - November 9, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Foreign arrivals breached the six-million mark in the first nine months of the year, data from the Department of Tourism (DOT) showed, with about 1.36 million Chinese accounting for the biggest increase.

It was not clear, however, if the Chinese were regular tourists or workers in Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) offices who enter the country by securing tourist visas on arrival.

The DOT said foreign arrivals totaled to 6,161,503 from January to September, a 14.37 percent increase from 5,387,458 arrivals in the same period last year.

Despite being a lean month in terms of visitors, foreign arrivals in September surged 17.09 percent to 606,553 arrivals from 518,041 arrivals in the same period a year ago

“The figures look very promising, and we are glad that more tourists are visiting us in light of the accolades received by the Philippines and our destinations throughout the year,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

Korea still remained the country’s top source market in the nine-month period with a total of 1,450,792 arrivals, an estimated 23 percent increase from the 1.18 million arrivals reported last year.

This was followed by China with 1,359,817 arrivals, 39.8 percent higher than the 972,500 Chinese arrivals a year ago.

The United States claimed the third spot with 792,619 arrivals, while Japan registered 518,211 arrivals, landing in the fourth spot.

Taiwan secured the fifth spot with 252,578 arrivals.

The continued increase in arrivals is a testament to the recent recognition received by the Philippine tourism sector, Puyat said.

Among these was the 8th spot on the 20 Most Favorite Countries in the World of the Condé Nast Traveler (CNT) Readers’ Choice Awards, where the Philippines earned a 90.63 score among the 600,000 readers of the New York-based luxury and travel magazine.

The Philippines was also hailed as Asia’s Leading Dive Destination by the 2019 World Travel Awards (WTA) in its Asia and Oceania gala held last October in Phu Quoc, Vietnam.

Subsequently, DOT was awarded as Asia’s Leading Tourism Board by WTA at the same event for the significant increase in tourist arrivals for the Philippines in 2018.

In addition, the Japan Tourism Awards (JTA) also presented DOT with its Excellent Partner Award for the agency’s crucial role in the closure and successful rehabilitation of the tourist-favorite Boracay Island. The award was received at the opening of the Tourism Expo Japan last month.

“While these awards prove prudence in our efforts to bolster Philippine tourism, ultimately, what keeps us doing what we do in the DOT is seeing more of our countrymen revel in the positive impacts of genuine sustainable tourism,” Puyat said.

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