Tourist ar­rivals hit 6 M in Q3

The Philippine Star - - FRONT PAGE - By CATHER­INE TALAV­ERA

For­eign ar­rivals breached the six-mil­lion mark in the first nine months of the year, data from the Depart­ment of Tourism (DOT) showed, with about 1.36 mil­lion Chi­nese ac­count­ing for the big­gest in­crease.

It was not clear, how­ever, if the Chi­nese were reg­u­lar tourists or work­ers in Philip­pine Off­shore Gaming Op­er­a­tors (POGO) of­fices who en­ter the coun­try by se­cur­ing

tourist visas on ar­rival.

The DOT said for­eign ar­rivals to­taled to 6,161,503 from Jan­uary to Septem­ber, a 14.37 per­cent in­crease from 5,387,458 ar­rivals in the same pe­riod last year.

De­spite be­ing a lean month in terms of vis­i­tors, for­eign ar­rivals in Septem­ber surged 17.09 per­cent to 606,553 ar­rivals from 518,041 ar­rivals in the same pe­riod a year ago.

“The fig­ures look very promis­ing, and we are glad that more tourists are vis­it­ing us in light of the ac­co­lades re­ceived by the Philip­pines and our des­ti­na­tions through­out the year,” Tourism Sec­re­tary Ber­nadette Romulo-Puyat said.

Korea still re­mained the coun­try’s top source mar­ket in the nine-month pe­riod with a to­tal of 1,450,792 ar­rivals, an es­ti­mated 23 per­cent in­crease from the 1.18 mil­lion ar­rivals re­ported last year.

This was fol­lowed by China with 1,359,817 ar­rivals, 39.8 per­cent higher than the 972,500 Chi­nese ar­rivals a year ago.

The United States claimed the third spot with 792,619 ar­rivals, while Ja­pan reg­is­tered 518,211 ar­rivals, land­ing in the fourth spot.

Tai­wan se­cured the fifth spot with 252,578 ar­rivals.

The con­tin­ued in­crease in ar­rivals is a tes­ta­ment to the re­cent recog­ni­tion re­ceived

From Page 1 by the Philip­pine tourism sec­tor, Puyat said.

Among these was the 8th spot on the 20 Most Fa­vorite Coun­tries in the World of the Condé Nast Trav­eler (CNT) Read­ers’ Choice Awards, where the Philip­pines earned a 90.63 score among the 600,000 read­ers of the New York-based lux­ury and travel mag­a­zine.

The Philip­pines was also hailed as Asia’s Lead­ing Dive Des­ti­na­tion by the 2019 World Travel Awards (WTA) in its Asia and Ocea­nia gala held last Oc­to­ber in Phu Quoc, Viet­nam.

Sub­se­quently, DOT was awarded as Asia’s Lead­ing Tourism Board by WTA at the same event for the sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in tourist ar­rivals for the Philip­pines in 2018.

In ad­di­tion, the Ja­pan Tourism Awards (JTA) also pre­sented DOT with its Ex­cel­lent Part­ner Award for the agency’s cru­cial role in the clo­sure and suc­cess­ful re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of the tourist-fa­vorite Bo­ra­cay Is­land. The award was re­ceived at the open­ing of the Tourism Expo Ja­pan last month.

“While these awards prove pru­dence in our ef­forts to bol­ster Philip­pine tourism, ul­ti­mately, what keeps us do­ing what we do in the DOT is see­ing more of our coun­try­men revel in the pos­i­tive im­pacts of gen­uine sus­tain­able tourism,” Puyat said.

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