Travel season in the Philippines

International visitor arrivals to the Philippines rose 17.5 percent year-on-year in January 2012, led by a double-digit increase in visitors from China and Taiwan during the Chinese New Year celebrations.
The Department of Tourism said arrivals from abroad reached a record 411,064 in January, up from 349,713 arrivals a year ago.  It also surpassed the previous monthly record of 394,567 arrivals registered in December 2011.

The department said the increase in arrivals in January marked a good start for 2012 as the government aims to attract 4.2 million foreign tourists this year, up from 3.917 million in 2011.  The medium term goal is to register 10 million arrivals by 2016.

Visitors from South Korea supplied the biggest number of arrivals, as it yielded a volume of 102,166 visitors to the country.   “Another feat was achieved as it is also the first time that a market achieved more than 100,000 in any single month,” said Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez.

The Korean market comprised 24.9 percent of the total visitor volume and recorded a growth of 10.8 percent from 92,249 arrivals in January 2011.  The US market provided the second biggest volume of 63,160 arrivals, representing 15.4 percent of the total inbound traffic. 

Arrivals from the US, however, were down slightly by 0.8 percent from 63,674 arrivals a year earlier.      
The Chinese market outranked the Japanese market, as it recorded the third biggest volume of 42,868 arrivals in January.  The figure was up by a remarkable 173.8 percent from 15,656 arrivals year-on-year.

“The increase could be attributed to the Chinese New Year celebration which fell on the third week of January with an influx of Chinese coming to the country to celebrate the event,” said he department.
The Japanese market settled in fourth place as it recorded a volume of 32,089 arrivals, up by 1.6 percent a year earlier. 

Registering the fifth biggest visitor volume is Taiwan by capturing 5.4 percent of the aggregate volume or 21,995 arrivals, up by 60.7 percent from a year ago.  The influx was also attributed to the Chinese New Year celebrations in the country by the Taiwanese visitors.

Arrivals of Filipinos residing abroad continued to show strength as it reached 15,531 arrivals for a share of 3.8 percent to the total volume in January.

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