Philippines’ visitor arrivals up 9 percent

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Visitor arrivals in the Philippines increased by 9.08 percent or 3.1 million tourists in the first nine months of the year, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT).

In Central Visayas, most tourism markets also posted increases.

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DOT said top travel markets of the Philippines during the period posted growth rates. Taiwan posted the highest growth rate among top five markets at 25.39 percent.

The number of tourists from Korea during January to September increased by 9.61 percent to 752,918. DOT records showed the Korean market makes up 23.90 percent of the country’s total visitor volume for the period.

A total of 485,484 tourists from the United States of America also visited the country in the first nine months of the year, posting a growth of 4.01 percent over last year’s record of 466,767 arrivals.

Japanese tourists, on the other hand, increased by 8.52 percent or 311,008. Visitors from China posted a double-digit growth of 14.5 percent to 196,926 arrivals during the period from 171,981 a year ago.

Arrivals from Taiwan also grew by 25.39 percent from 136,713 arrivals recorded last year to 171,420 arrivals in the first nine months of the year.

Other markets with substantial contribution include Australia with 132,157 arrivals; Singapore with 106,981; Hong Kong with 88,393; Canada with 87,386; and the United Kingdom with 81,436 arrivals.

Tourists from Russia registered a 41.53 percent increase from 12,638 tourists in 2011.

High growth rates were also recorded by France at 14.46 percent increase to 24,848 arrivals and Germany with 10.53 percent increase to 48,351 arrivals.

The records showed that majority of the top travel markets in Central Visayas from January to July this year also posted increases, except for Canada.

Latest statistics released by the DOT 7 showed that arrivals from Canada dropped 5.71 percent to 9,965 arrivals in the first seven months this year compared to 10,569 arrivals recorded in the same period in 2011.

Taiwan, meanwhile, posted the highest growth at 63.26 percent from 11,306 arrivals last year to 18,458 from January to July.

The Korean market is still Cebu’s top travel market, accounting for 42.41 percent share of tourism volume. It grew by 12.84 percent or 247,990 arrivals for the period.

This was followed by Japan which grew by 17.60 percent from 89,654 arrivals in 2011 to 105,430 arrivals this year.

USA came third, with arrivals of 64,631, up by 13.64 percent over last year’s record.

Arrivals from China on the other hand, doubled from 26,504 in 2011 to 40,619 in the first seven months of the year. Australian tourists grew by 19.74 percent or 20,464.

Other top travel markets of Central Visayas were Germany, which grew by 5.43 percent to 15,424 arrivals; United Kingdom at 1.31 percent to 12,402 arrivals; and France at 10,292 arrivals, up by 12.70 percent over last year’s records.

The DOT 7 said they are expecting more foreign tourists to come to Central Visayas, particularly in Cebu, as the holidays near. City and resort hotels are also gearing up for the influx of foreign tourists and balikbayans who will likely spend Christmas and New Year here and stay until Sinulog in January.