International arrivals in Philippines exceeds 2019 target

By: Irene R. Sino Cruz - CDN Digital | February 18,2020 - 11:39 AM


CEBU CITY, Philippines—The country’s international visitors in 2019 reached 8.26 million, slightly exceeding the 8.2-million target set in the National Tourism Development (NTDP) for 2016-2022, the Department of Tourism (DoT) reported on its Facebook page.

“This heralds a new milestone in the country’s tourism history, breaching the eight millionth mark.  Without doubt, our convergence programs with other government agencies, particularly in improving access as well as product development and marketing initiatives with local government and private sector have greatly paid off,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

The secretary expressed hope the Philippines could sustain these gains amid the global challenges.

Based on the DoT visitor arrival report, the 2019 international arrivals posted a 15.24 percent growth over the 7.16 million arrivals in 2018.

“Almost all months, except January, registered double digit growth rates, the largest of which was in August at 27.54 percent while December recorded the highest volume at 776,798,” the DOT reported.

Last year, the agency launched its refreshed branding campaign, ‘It’s More Fun in the Philippines’ slogan, but repurposing it to focus on sustainable tourism.

To promote this new direction, the DOT started the ‘’Save Our Spots’ to call for each individual to be a responsible tourist and for continued efforts to preserve the country’s natural and man-made wonders.

The Philippine tourism industry also received a number of international awards and recognitions in 2019 such as the World’s Leading Dive Destination at the 2019 World Travel Awards, Asia’s Leading Tourism Board at the 2019 World Travel Awards and Excellent Partner Award (for Sustainable Efforts in Boracay, among others.

“This is a high point for Philippine tourism as it depicts our solidarity and commitment to make tourism work and prove its full potential as a sustainable and inclusive economic activity. The record-breaking numbers solidify the effectiveness of the Tourism Act of 2009, which celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2019,” Puyat said.

Korea remains as the top source market with a total of 1.98 million arrivals, for a 22.48 percent increase. It has been leading tourist market since 2010.

China follows closely on second with 1.74 million, posting a 38.58 percent growth. On the other hand, the United States came in third with 1.06 million visitors, up by 2.90 percent increase over 2018 figures.

The seven other top tourism markets are Japan (682,788), Australia (286,170), Canada (238,850), the United Kingdom (209,206), Singapore (158,595), Malaysia (139,882), India (134,963) and Germany (103,756). /bmjo

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