MANILA, Philippines – Despite the six-month closure of the country’s top tourist destination Boracay Island, the Department of Tourism (DOT) noted a significant increase in the number of tourist arrivals this year.
From January to October, the number of visitors coming into the Philippines has increased by 7.43%.
Specifically, the country has welcomed around 5.8 million visitors this year — that’s 400,000 people more than last year’s 5.4 million tally.
Top international visitors came from South Korea, China, Unites States, Japan, Australia, Taiwan, Canada, United Kingdom, Singapore and Malaysia.
The tourism sector as a whole also made significant improvements. The agency was able to establish a number of partnerships with several private firms from the business sector who are willing to support the DOT’s campaigns and promotions.
Among the programs the DOT is promoting include the promotion of various tourist spots in the country; the ongoing rehabilitation of popular destinations, beach activities, meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions as well as promotion of culinary tourism.
The rehabilitation of Boracay island is also being touted as the highlight of DOT’s accomplishments. Boracay reopened with a number of new restrictions that include limiting the number of visitors to maintain the pristine beauty of the island.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said Boracay’s closure has impacted the number of tourists in the country that’s why they are promoting other destinations as well.
These include Cebu, Siquijor, and Siargao Island which was recently recognized as the Best Island in Asia by the international travel magazine, Condé Nast Traveler.
“So definitely when you have a carrying capacity that will actually also affect the number of tourist arrivals. But what we are doing is now we are promoting alternative destinations so at least hindi ang Boracay ang alam ng mga turista but other alternative tourist destinations,” said the Tourism Secretary.
Also, among the factors that helped in promoting Philippine tourism this year was the government’s efforts to modernize major gateways in the country such as the installation of e-gates in airport terminals, the opening of the new Bohol International Airport in Panglao, improvements in world’s friendliest resort airport, the Mactan-Cebu International Airport as well as a number of tourism road projects.
“You can’t imagine how many text messages I received from people I don’t know, asking that their tourist destinations should also be rehabilitated like Boracay,” Romulo-Puyat said.
With the return of the century-old Balangiga bells, the DOT is expecting a much higher influx of tourists in the country. The Secretary plans to visit Balangiga town in Eastern Samar next year.
In January, the DOT will review its National Tourism Development Plan to include the Tourism Congress of the Philippines to further boost the country’s tourism industry and achieve its target of 7 million tourist arrivals in 2019. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from JL Asayo)
The Department of Tourism (DOT) has announced the record-high international tourist arrivals in the first quarter of the year, underscoring that it is an encouraging sign that Philippine tourism is on the right track.
In its Facebook post on Thursday, May 9, the DOT reported that “the country welcomed 2,204,564 foreign visitors in the first three months of 2019, reflecting a 7.59 percent rise from last year’s 2,049,094 over the same period.”
It quoted Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat saying, “The DOT is working on enhancing our tourism products and tourism infrastructure to entice tourists to choose the Philippines as their next destination.”
The report showed that South Korea remains as the top source market with 519,584 tourist arrivals compared to last year’s 477,087.
It was followed by the Chinese market ranking second with 463,804 total visitors, 24.87 percent higher than the previous year’s tally of 371,429.
Taiwanese visitors also grew to 77,908 from 59,877 in 2018, presenting the highest percentage increase of 30.11 percent for the period in review.
American visitors came next in the ranking with 293,780, up by 3.10 percent from last year.
Completing the top 12 markets for the three-month period are: Japan, 177,769; Taiwan, 77,908; Australia, 73,147; Canada, 72,352; United Kingdom, 53,402; Singapore, 39,484; Malaysia, 37,651; India, 36,275; and Germany, 33,725.
The report also highlighted that for March numbers alone, the DOT reports a visitor arrival of 714,309 or an 11.13 percent growth versus the same month last year.
Notably, France entered the top 12 for the month of March, posting 10,715 visitors, a 26.21 percent growth from last year’s March tally of 8,489.
The “balikbayans” or the visiting Philippine passport-holders permanently residing abroad (not including overseas Filipino workers) totaled 14,610 as of March.
Sec. Puyat highlighted “that the rehabilitated Boracay Island, touted as a model of sustainable tourism development, has attracted a growing number of visitors since reopening in October last year.”
The DOT chief also attributed the upward trend in tourist arrivals to the country’s improved connectivity. –/mbmf
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Tourism (DOT) shared on Wednesday (August 8) the data of increased tourist arrivals to the Philippines from January to April 2018.
The agency is pleased to report that despite the closure of the Boracay Island, the country has achieved a staggering 11.35% increase in the number of visitors from 2,349,980 in 2017 to 2,640,231 in the first four months of 2018.
“We were pleasantly surprised that it increased by 11.35% this June,” said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.
Most of the visitors were Chinese and Korean nationals.
Meanwhile, the DOT has ordered the Interagency Task Force on Boracay Rehabilitation to issue a memorandum for the reopening of Boracay Island on October 26.
The government expects further increase in the number of visitors once the island is opened. – Grace Casin / Marje Pelayo
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