By Charina Clarisse Echaluce
More than five-million international tourists have visited the Philippines within the first 10 months of 2017, the Department of Tourism (DOT) disclosed today.
According to the tourism department, there was a total of 5,474,310 international arrivals from January to October this year; noting a marginal increase of 11.54 percent compared with what was recorded in the same period last year, which was 4,908,017.
It was disclosed that international visitor arrivals continue to increase with the influx of Chinese tourists, becoming the second largest in number to come to the country. To note, compared with last year’s figures for the same period, Chinese arrivals jumped 39.28 percent while India visitors rose 20.28 percent.
“With the surge in Chinese and Indian arrivals, we are optimistic to hit the target of at least 6.5 million as set by the National Tourism Development Plan for 2017-2022,” Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo said.
Meanwhile Teo disclosed that South Koreans remain the country’s top visitors with 1,332,141 arrivals, representing 24.33 percent of the total arrivals; followed by China with 810,807 arrivals, comprising 14.81 percent of the market share.
“The department will continue an aggressive marketing efforts, including through social media. We will promote emerging or developing destinations to entice more visitors from across the globe,” the DOT chief assured.
The DOT recently launched the “It’s More Fun in the Philippine Farms” and revived the “Bring Home a Friend” program as part of its strategy to reach 12-million tourist arrivals by 2022.