International tourist arrivals hit 5.45 million in 2023

Mark Ernest Villeza - The Philippine Star
International tourist arrivals hit 5.45 million in 2023
Foreign and local travelers flock to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on December 22, 2023.
STAR / Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Philippines — The country exceeded its targeted number of visitor arrivals last year, with more than five million tourists and over P480 billion in tourism receipts in 2023, according to the Department of Tourism.

DOT’s monitoring data showed that there were 5.45 million foreign tourists from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, surpassing the targeted 4.8 million visitors for the year.

Of the figure, 91.80 percent or at least five million were foreigners, while 8.20 percent or 447,082 were overseas Filipinos.

South Korea maintained its position as a top source of international visitors, contributing 26.41 percent or 1.42 million.

It is followed by the US with 903,299 tourists or 16.57 percent; Japan, 5.61 percent; Australia, 4.89 percent, and China, 4.84 percent.

In a significant recovery, the Philippines’ international tourism receipts reached an estimated P482.54 billion for the same period, or a surge of 124.87 percent from last year’s P214.58 billion.

The recovery rate, the DOT said, stands at around 66 percent of the pre-pandemic level recorded in 2019.

The DOT is targeting a baseline of 7.7 million international visitor arrivals this year.?Meanwhile, on New Year’s Eve alone, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) recorded close to 50,000 arrivals in the country.

BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco yesterday said records showed there were 49,892 passengers who arrived on Dec. 31. Of the figure, 34 percent were foreigners.

Tansingco said this indicates that the country is regaining its appeal as a popular holiday destination.

For the month of December, the BI processed 1.6 million arrivals, which surpassed its initial projection of 1.5 million. — Evelyn Macairan

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