Philippines surpasses 2019 target of 8.2-M foreign tourist arrivals

Rosette Adel - Philstar.com
Philippines surpasses 2019 target of 8.2-M foreign tourist arrivals
China was hailed the second top source market with 1.74 million visitors or a 38.58-percent increase.
AFP / File

MANILA, Philippines— The Department of Tourism on Monday announced that the Philippines breached its 2019 international arrivals target of 8.2 million with 8.26 million foreign visitor arrivals recorded last year.

“This heralds a new milestone in the country’s tourism history, breaching the eight millionth mark.  Without doubt, our convergence programs with other government agencies, particularly in improving access as well as product development and marketing initiatives with local government and private sector have greatly paid off,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

“These gains we hope to sustain even as we face global challenges,” she added.

The year-end visitor arrival report said that the record-breaking foreign tourist arrival was a 15.24-percent increase from 2018’s 7.16 million international arrivals.

The DOT said that there was double-digit growth in most months except for January.

The largest growth rate recorded was at 27.54% in August while December recorded the highest volume at 776,798 arrivals.

The country welcomed its eight-millionth foreign visitor last December 27. The international visitor was 71-year-old Japanese national Yachiyo Imamoto who received a roundtrip ticket from Japan to Manila and vice versa, as well as a free tour to one of the top tourist destinations in the country, Siargao.

Meanwhile, the DOT said South Koreans are still the top tourists of the country with a total of 1.98 million arrivals or a 22.48% growth.

They have been holding the spot since 2010.

China was hailed the second top source market with 1.74 million visitors or a 38.58-percent increase.

United States of America comes third with 1.06 million arrivals or 2.90% increase followed by Japan and Taiwan with 682,788 and 327,273 arrivals, respectively.

The two countries posed an 8.07% and 35.01% increase respectively.

Here are the seven other countries that made it to the top 12 visitor markets as well as their percentage changes:

  • Australia - 286,170 arrivals (2.27%)
  • Canada - 238,850 arrivals (5.48%)
  • United Kingdom - 209,206 arrivals (4.06%)
  • Singapore - 158,595 arrivals (-7.68%)
  • Malaysia - 139,882 arrivals (-3.69%)
  • India - 134,963 arrivals (11.43%)
  • Germany - 103,756 arrivals (12.66%)

In February last year, the DOT launched its refreshed “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” tourism campaign slogan, repurposing it to advocate for sustainable tourism.

It was also then that Puyat announced that the agency is eyeing 8.2 million visitors for 2019.

The annual target was set in the National Tourism Development Plan for 2016 to 2022.

In the same year, the agency also launched a movement called “Save Our Spots” to call for each individual to be a responsible tourist and encouraging others to preserve the country’s natural and man-made wonders.

Philippine tourism industry likewise received several international awards and recognitions such as the World’s Leading Dive Destination at the 2019 World Travel Awards, Asia’s Leading Tourism Board at the 2019 World Travel Awards and Excellent Partner Award (for Sustainable Efforts in Boracay, among others.

“This is a high point for Philippine tourism as it depicts our solidarity and commitment to make tourism work and prove its full potential as a sustainable and inclusive economic activity. The record-breaking numbers solidify the effectiveness of the Tourism Act of 2009, which celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2019,” Puyat said.




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