DOT eyes 8.2M foreign tourist arrivals in 2019
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) is aiming for 8.2 million foreign tourist arrivals for the country in 2019, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said Thursday.
Puyat said that the tourism agency is “very confident” that they will reach this year’s target, which was a 15 percent increase from the tourist arrivals recorded in 2018 which was 7.1 million.
“We’re actually confident that we’re going to reach it because every year there’s a 15-percent increase,” Puyat said in an interview over ABS CBN News Channel.
The Tourism chief also noted that even with the six-month closure of Boracay due to rehabilitation efforts, tourist arrivals in the country has seen a 6.6 percent increase, from 6.6 million in 2017 to 7.1 million in 2018.
Instead of going to Boracay, tourists went to the country’s other tourist destinations including Bohol, Siargao, La Union and Bicol.
“Even with the closure of Boracay, people discovered alternative destinations. It actually was a blessing in disguise because people realized that there are other places to go to in the Philippines not only in Boracay,” Puyat said.
She said that the opening of international airports in Bohol and Mactan, Cebu, also helped in bringing in tourists in the country.
Puyat noted that Korean nationals remain to be the top foreign tourists in the country by number, followed by Chinese nationals, Americans, Japanese and Australians. /muf
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