MANILA, 13 August 2019: The Philippines welcomed 4.1 million visitors during the first six months of the year, marking an 11.43% increase year-on-year.
Data released by the Department of Tourism showed the country registered 4,133,050 international tourists.
“We have already passed the 4 million mark within the first six months of the year,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat told a press briefing on Monday.
“Seven years ago, it took the entire year to reach 4 million. The Philippine tourism industry has indeed come a long way with better and increased connectivity. New, rehabilitated and expanded airports have contributed much to this growth.”
“By expanding our portfolio of tourism products and by developing and promoting our lesser-known but emerging destinations, we have attracted a large yet diverse set of foreign travellers and have sustained our growth in the highly-competitive Southeast Asian region,” she added.
During June, tourist arrivals expanded 21.41% to reach 643,780 arrivals up from 530,267 in June 2018.
Last year, the Philippines clocked 7.1 million visits, and the DOT forecasts that by 2022 the country could reach 12 million.
However, considering the diversity of the country’s travel content and its experience in promoting travel, it remains an underperformer in ASEAN trailing Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
South Korea continues to be the top source market, with China coming in second. The United States ranked third, followed by Japan fourth and Taiwan fifth.
The DOT also welcomed the US Homeland Security’s decision to lift its public notice on travel to Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport following the “significant improvements” in the airport’s security operations.
“With the recent development of the US Department of Homeland Security to rescind its public advisory on security issues at NAIA, we can expect more travellers from the US to visit the Philippines in the coming months,” Puyat concluded.
(Source DOT PR)