Some 1.7 million foreign tourists visited the Philippines in January to April 2014, representing a growth of 2.9 percent from a year ago, according to the Department of Tourism (DoT).
The 2.9-percent increase in international visitor arrivals in the four-month period this year, however, was slower than 10.1-percent rise in 2013, 14.6 percent in 2012, 13.3 percent in 2011 and 10.1 percent in 2010.
Tourist arrivals in April increased 2.3 percent to 386,565 from 377,879 in the same month last year. Arrivals from South Korea, the country’s top tourism market, dropped to 374,223 in the first four months from around 400,000 a year ago.
Other top markets for Philippine tourism are the United States, with 266,972 visitors; China, 168,155; Japan, 155,447; and Australia, 80,102.
Visitor arrivals from the Asian region accounted for 58.1 percent, with South Korea, China and Japan leading the volume. The Americas and Europe comprised 19.24 percent and 11.42 percent, respectively.
The government aims o increase tourism arrivals to 10 million tourists by 2016.
Air passenger traffic in the Philippines rose 0.9 percent in the first quarter of 2014, on moderate gains for both domestic and international flights.
The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) said 9.64 million passengers flew in the first three months of the year. Domestic air traffic increased 1.5 percent to 5.137 million passengers in the January-March period from 5.062 million a year ago.
International traffic was slightly higher at 4.5 million passengers in the first quarter from 4.49 million a year earlier.