By Genalyn Kabiling
Tourists are spending more money and staying longer in the Philippines as manifested in the rise in visitor receipts for the first half of the year, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the Department of Tourism reported P146.34 billion in visitor receipts from January to June 2017, almost 15 percent higher compared to the same period last year.
Visitor receipts refer to the income earned by the country from tourism-related activities.
“More and more tourists continue to explore the Philippines,” Abella said during a Palace news conference.
“It definitely says there’s more spending happening. Maybe we are attracting better customers, better markets (who are) staying longer,” he added.
He said tourism earnings increased to P27.1 billion for June 2017 alone, which is 30.68 percent higher than P20.8 billion recorded in the same month last year.
“This results in a total amount of P146.34 billion visitor receipts for the period of January to June 2017, which is 14.89 percent higher than P127.37 billion for the same period last year,” he said.
In addition, Abella said tourist arrivals for the month of June reached 474,854 tourists, or 3.42 percent higher than arrivals last year.
“Apparently, visitors have a great confidence in the nation,” he said.
The government aims to generate P407 billion in inbound visitor receipts from the projected 6.5 million foreign tourists this year. Among the top spending markets are tourists from Korea, China, United States, Taiwan, and Japan.