We have observed in these pages about increased tourism activity to the Philippine islands, hotel openings, increased flight connections, and incentives from the tourism department to boost growth. All that has definitely shown positive results. Tourist arrivals in the Philippines grew by almost 12 per cent in the first ten months of 2017 compared to the same span in 2016, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT).
DOT cited data showing an 11.54 percent 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 a double-digit rise of 36.28 per cent from the previous year's earnings.
The Philippines has seen the consistent growth in tourist arrivals from the Middle East. In 2016, the Philippines received a total of 83,546 tourists from the region, growing by 9.69 per cent over 2015. 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 DOT expects to record 100,000 tourist arrivals from the Middle East region by the end of 2017.
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.
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 has 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.
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
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