Aerial view of Cayangan Lake in Coron Island Philippines.
The Philippines expects to record 100,000 tourist arrivals from the Middle East region by the end of 2017, the country’s Department of Tourism (DOT) said.
The Philippines received a total of 83,546 tourists from the Middle East during 2016, growing by 9.69 per cent over 2015, DOT added, noting that the region is one of the fastest growing source markets.
Tourist arrivals from Saudi Arabia and UAE, the two largest markets out of the region for the Philippines, reached 50,884 and 16,881 respectively.
The PDOT aims to achieve seven million tourists by the end of 2017 and proactively developing strategic partnerships with key stakeholders in the Middle East to capture a sizeable percentage of its high-yield tourist market.
Tourist arrivals in the Philippines grew by almost 12 per cent in the first ten months of this year compared to the same span in 2016, the DOT said.
The DOT cited data showing an 11.54 per cent marginal increase in tourist arrivals, from 4,908,017 recorded from January to October of 2016, to a total of 5,474,310 in the same 10-month period this year.
Revenue-wise, the department recorded P243.23 billion of visitor receipts from January to September, a double-digit rise of 36.28 per cent from the previous year’s P178 billion earnings.
Tourism secretary Wanda Teo said, “South Koreans remain the country’s top visitor market this year with 1,332,141 arrivals (24.33 per cent) followed by China with 810,807 arrivals (14.81 per cent).”
The US had dropped to third place with 785,269 arrivals (14.34 per cent), followed by Japan with 490,857 arrivals (8.97 per cent), and Australia with 206,443 (3.77 per cent).
“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 secretary added.
The number of visitors from China and India saw a significant increase of 39.28 per cent and 20.28 per cent respectively, the DOT noted.
“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,” Teo said.
In October, when the number of visitors from the US was first overtaken by those coming from China, Teo had cited Beijing’s promise to send more tourists to help boost the country’s visitor arrival figures. – TradeArabia News Service