Philippines Visitors

At least 6.3 million international arrivals and over 32 million domestic travelers by 2016 are now the new targets of the Department of Tourism (DOT), according to a report by Philippine Star. Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim said the government considers tourism as a frontliner and revenue driver in reducing poverty “so we want to make sure that the development of tourism is more sustainable and inclusive.”

Some 1.31 million tourists from other countries visited the Philippines in the first four months of 2010, representing a 13 percent increase from 1.15 million a year ago. Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim said this put the government on track to meeting its full-year target of 3.74 million international visitor arrivals in 2011.

“By reaching this figure in the first four months of the year alone, our 3.74 million target for the year is well within reach,” Secretary Lim was quoted as saying. He noted an increase in arrivals from all regional markets during the four-month period.

Data shows that the month of January recorded the largest volume of 349,713 visitors while the highest growth rate was recorded in February with 18.52 percent.

Visitors from the East Asian region (Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan) continued to account the largest source of arrivals with a share of 44.50 percent for a total of 581,551 visitors. It recorded an increase of 18.9 percent from 489,122 arrivals in 2010.

Korea remained the largest source of arrivals reaching 286,018 in the four-month period or 21.88 percent of the total volume. Arrivals from Taiwan, on the other hand, grew the fastest at 42.68 percent. Despite the natural disaster that struck Japan in March, arrivals from this market rose 8.1 percent during the four-month period.

The North American region was the second largest group contributing 274,613 arrivals for 21 percent share to the overall traffic. This region posted an increase of 10.31 percent compared to its contribution of 248,955 arrivals the previous year.

Other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) became the third top source market with 103,715 arrivals or 7.94 percent of the total. Arrivals from this region grew 10 percent from 94,250 a year earlier.

Visitors from Australasia/Pacific region constituted 5.62 percent of the total inbound traffic with 73,483 arrivals. This figure was up by 16.25 percent from 63,212 arrivals a year ago. Visitors from Northern Europe were also up by 10.2 percent.

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