MANILA – International visitor arrivals continue to increase with the influx of Chinese tourists, becoming the second largest in number to come to the Philippines from January to October this year.
The trend is shown by the data released by the Department of Tourism (DOT) indicating a total of 5,474,310 international arrivals for the first 10-month period compared to 4,908,017 of the same span in 2016, a marginal increase of 11.54 percent.
DOT Secretary Wanda Corazon Tulfo-Teo said South Koreans remain the country’s top visitor market with 1,332,141 arrivals, representing 24.33 percent of the total arrivals, followed by China with 810,807 arrivals, comprising 14.81 percent of the market share.
The United States dropped to third place with 785,269 (14.34 percent) arrivals, Japan with 490,857 (8.97 percent), and Australia with 206,443 (3.77 percent).
“With the surge in Chinese and Indian arrivals, we are optimistic to hit the target of at least 6.5 million as set by the National Tourism Development Plan for 2017-2022″, said Teo.
Compared to last year’s figures for the same period, Chinese arrivals jumped 39.28 percent, while India visitors rose 20.28 percent.
In terms of revenues, visitor receipts recorded a double-digit gain of 36.28 percent (Php 243.23 billion) for the period of January to September, a significant rise from the Php 178 billion earnings for the same period in 2016.
“The department will continue an aggressive marketing efforts, including through social media. We will promote emerging or developing destinations to entice more visitors from across the globe,” said the DOT chief.
The DOT has launched the “It’s More Fun in the Philippine Farms” and revived the “Bring Home a Friend” program as part of its strategy to reach 12 million tourist arrivals by 2022.