International tourists in Manila

International tourists in the Philippines increased 17 percent year-on-year in 2010, reflecting the growth in tourism in Asia during the year and marking a strong rebound from the global financial crisis that hit the region in 2008 and 2009.  On a monthly basis, December 2010 saw the highest number of foreign tourists at 393,585.

Tourism Secretary Albert Lim said foreign visitor arrivals hit 3.52 million in 2010, topping the previous record or 3.3 million in 2008.  This was led by 48.7 percent growth in arrivals from Korea which reached 740,622 and represented a fifth of the total.

Visitors from South Korea reached 740,622 last year, topping all nationalities.  The United States was the second market, with 600,165 visitors for a share of 17 percent of total tourist traffic.  Taiwan and Japan, which in the past years posted declines in arrivals, have rebounded with double digit growth of 39.2 percent and 10.3 percent, respectively.

Visitors from China and Hong Kong posted 20.9 posted and 8.9 percent increases, respectively, despite the August hostage tragedy that hit the headlines during that month. Arrivals from Australia also hit a record 147,469 in 2010, making it the fifth largest source market with an 11.4 percent growth rate.

Inbound tourists from the ASEAN region, which accounted for 8.4 percent of the total visitor count, rose 16.7 percent to 298,176 visitors, led by arrivals from Singapore (121,083 arrivals) and Malaysia (79,694 arrivals). Arrivals from European markets also recorded double digit gain in 2010, with the Russian Federation growing 33.6 percent followed by the Scandinavian countries (12 percent), France (11 percent), United Kingdom (6.5 percent), and Germany (5 percent).

United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia remained the key source markets in the Middle East, with arrivals from these countries rising by 21.4 percent and 16.3 percent, respectively.

International tourism receipts rose 11.3 percent to US$2.49 billion in 2010 from US$ 2.23 billion in 2009.  Average daily expenditure of foreign tourists improved 10.8 percent to US$83.93, while their average length of stay in the country stood at eight nights.  Per capita expenditure of visitor in 2010 was estimated at US$672.28.

"The assumption of a new administration in July ushered in a renewed spirit and confidence in the Philippines as a tourist destination. This has pumped up growth in the second half of 2010 at 21.2 percent than the first semester’s increase at 12.2 percent," said Secretary Lim.

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