More Fun in the Philippines

International visitor arrivals in the Philippines rose 12 percent year-on-year in the first 10 months of 2011, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT).  Data show that arrivals during the 10-month period reached 3.186 million, up from 2.846 million arrivals recorded a year ago.  The month of July produced the biggest arrivals with 360,784 while the month of February posted the highest growth at 18.52 percent.  

Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez cited the consistent month-on-month growth throughout the period, on the back of the strong performance of the country’s short-haul and new tourist markets. The growth was attributed to the strong performance of our short-haul markets including Korea (with 27.85 percent growth rate), Taiwan (26.21 percent) and China (25.97 percent); and our new markets such as India (61.49 percent), Russia (35.13 percent) and Saudi Arabia (28.69 percent).
 
“The increase in flight frequencies, including chartered flights, more interesting and diverse tourism products and additional room capacity helped fuel the growth for the period,” a tourism official was quoted as saying.
 
East Asian region accounted for 1,283,965 visitors or 47.44 percent of the total tourist arrivals in the country during the 10-month period.  It was followed by North America with an 18.97 percent share of the total number of visitors.
 
The ASEAN region is the third biggest contributor producing 270,409 arrivals, accounting for 8.49{b72d12ecee9fade90e10854e79e98a671cbb00dc34440b2ee5ef5de31595176e} of the total inbound traffic.  The fourth biggest source by region was Australasia/ Pacific with 179,874 arrivals for a share of 5.65 percent to total visitor volume.  
 
The DOT expects tourist arrivals in the country to keep on rising following the recent inclusion of the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) in Palawan in the new Seven Wonders of the World.
 
Secretary Jimenezsaid international visitor arrivals in the Philippines could reach 4.2 million in 2012, surpassing the expected 3.8 million arrivals in 2011.  “If we can pass the 4-million projection, that would be good enough. But the 4.2-million target is critical,” Secretary Jimenez was quoted as saying.
 
Jimenez attributed the tourism growth to the strong gains in key markets such as Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Russia, Korea and Japan.  “We are anticipating that positive growth in all our foreign markets will continue and will become stronger,” he said.
 

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