First quarter arrivals continue growth

 Tourist arrivals continued to grow in the first quarter of 2010, rising 6.64 percent during the period.  Foreign tourist arrivals grew faster at 7.89 percent vis-à-vis domestic tourism which increased by 6.09 percent during the same period, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT).

 Metro Manila is the leading destination with total number of tourists growing by 37.10{b72d12ecee9fade90e10854e79e98a671cbb00dc34440b2ee5ef5de31595176e} to 437.170.  Foreign and domestic tourists significantly expanded as more international and local meetings, congresses and conventions as well as special events were organized by major companies and organizations in the Metropolis.  This growth is likewise attributed to the opening of new tourism products such as the Newport Entertainment City, Manila Oceanarium as well as the visit of more cruise ships at the Manila South Harbour.

Cebu is the second most visited destination with 435,987 tourists with 3{b72d12ecee9fade90e10854e79e98a671cbb00dc34440b2ee5ef5de31595176e} growth.  Top markets for Cebu included Korea with 28{b72d12ecee9fade90e10854e79e98a671cbb00dc34440b2ee5ef5de31595176e} share followed by Japan (23{b72d12ecee9fade90e10854e79e98a671cbb00dc34440b2ee5ef5de31595176e}), USA (10{b72d12ecee9fade90e10854e79e98a671cbb00dc34440b2ee5ef5de31595176e}) and China (6{b72d12ecee9fade90e10854e79e98a671cbb00dc34440b2ee5ef5de31595176e}).  With aggressive promotions of the Department of Tourism (DOT), 15 charter flights from Shanghai and Nanjing in China arrived in Cebu for the Chinese New Year in February 2010 with more than 1,950 Chinese visitors.

Camarines Sur is the third most frequented destination with 348,139 tourists during the period under review.  The USA is the top source market with a 17.96{b72d12ecee9fade90e10854e79e98a671cbb00dc34440b2ee5ef5de31595176e} share followed by the United Kingdom, Korea, Germany, Australia and Canada.  The increased accessibility and diversification of tourist products by the local government unit and the private sector continued to attract more tourists to Camarines Sur.

Tourist volume in Boracay Island went up by 20{b72d12ecee9fade90e10854e79e98a671cbb00dc34440b2ee5ef5de31595176e} to 190,178 during the first quarter.  Chinese tourists increased by 25{b72d12ecee9fade90e10854e79e98a671cbb00dc34440b2ee5ef5de31595176e} to 7,279 in February as five charter flights were mounted from Chengdu and Hangzhou in China to Kalibo for the Chinese New Year.  Relatedly, Taiwanese tourists in Boracay also expanded by 123{b72d12ecee9fade90e10854e79e98a671cbb00dc34440b2ee5ef5de31595176e} to 4,524 due to more charter flights from Taipei to Kalibo.  Koreans remain the major tourist market for Boracay Island with 28{b72d12ecee9fade90e10854e79e98a671cbb00dc34440b2ee5ef5de31595176e} share of total foreign tourists count.

Foreign tourists in Puerto Princesa City increased by 23{b72d12ecee9fade90e10854e79e98a671cbb00dc34440b2ee5ef5de31595176e} as the local government unit and the DOT aggressively promoted and encouraged support for the Puerto Princesa Underground River in the search for New Seven Wonders of Nature.  Likewise, improved road access to key attractions has attracted more foreign tourists to the area, including the launch of the Puerto Princesa City and Busuanga flights which enabled more tourists between the said destinations to visit more attractions in Palawan.

In Bohol, tourist count increased by 4.20{b72d12ecee9fade90e10854e79e98a671cbb00dc34440b2ee5ef5de31595176e} with foreign tourists growing faster by 4.83{b72d12ecee9fade90e10854e79e98a671cbb00dc34440b2ee5ef5de31595176e} than domestic tourist which grew by 3.86{b72d12ecee9fade90e10854e79e98a671cbb00dc34440b2ee5ef5de31595176e} during the first quarter.  Major markets for Bohol included China, which accounted for 19{b72d12ecee9fade90e10854e79e98a671cbb00dc34440b2ee5ef5de31595176e} share of the total tourist volume, followed by the USA, Taiwan and Korea with 10{b72d12ecee9fade90e10854e79e98a671cbb00dc34440b2ee5ef5de31595176e}, 9.5{b72d12ecee9fade90e10854e79e98a671cbb00dc34440b2ee5ef5de31595176e} and 8{b72d12ecee9fade90e10854e79e98a671cbb00dc34440b2ee5ef5de31595176e} shares, respectively.

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