Philippines welcomes eight-millionth tourist for 2019
MANILA, Philippines — The country has surpassed eight million tourists for 2019.
Japanese national Yachiyo Imamoto, 71, is the Philippines’ eight-millionth visitor this year and was welcomed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) by the Department of Tourism (DOT) on Friday.
Yachiyo arrived with her husband Tamio at Naia from Japan at 1:33 p.m. via All Nippon Airways. The couple had been welcomed by DOT Assistant Secretary Roberto Alabado III.
“We are truly thankful to be chosen for this event. This our eighth visit here and we always visit our close friends in the Philippines,” Yachiyo said, as quoted in a statement.
“The Filipinos are very hospitable. I also keep coming back for mangoes, masarap,” said her husband Tamio.
Now that the country has surpassed the eight million mark, it is already besting the 7.1 million foreign visitors recorded in 2018.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat attributed the increase in tourist arrivals to the country’s “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” campaign, Boracay reopening, among others.
“The launching of the refreshed It’s More Fun in the Philippines branding campaign, re-opening of Boracay, sustainable tourism advocacy efforts, improved air connectivity, hosting of big ticket tourism events, intensified digital and online marketing, mainstreaming of different tourism product portfolios including culinary tourism and farm tourism, healthy private-public partnerships, international accolades and recognitions –all helped the industry in breaching the country’s historic eight millionth mark,” Puyat said in a statement.
The DOT said the detailed report of visitor arrivals for 2019 will be released early January next year. / JPV
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