By Analou De Vera
The Philippines has welcomed more than five million foreign tourists from January to August of this year, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said on Sunday.
“Inbound foreign guests reached 5,554,950 for the period of January to August this year, indicating a 14.08 percent increase from the 4,869,417 tourists recorded during the same period of 2018,” the tourism department said in a statement.
In August alone, a total of 702,843 foreign visitors arrived in the country. The figure was 27.54 percent higher than the 551,088 arrivals recorded in the same month last year.
South Korea remains the country’s top source market with 185,334 visitors in August, followed by China with 170,903, Japan with 78,699, and United States of America with 68,418 tourists.
“This is very encouraging even as we await the completion of the statistics gathered for the month of September,” said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.
The tourism chief also acknowledged the support of tourism industry stakeholders in the private sector as well as the local government units (LGUs) in the implementation of the government’s sustainable development program.
“The convergence approach of the DOT with other government agencies and its partners in the industry is proving effective in expanding travel connectivity while inviting more tourists to come and visit through more enticing tourism products and packages,” she said.