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DOT breaches 2019 tourism target with 8.26M foreign visitors

By: - Reporter / @KAguilarINQ
/ 03:11 PM February 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The number of foreign tourists visiting the Philippines has reached 8.26 million in 2019, exceeding the 8.2 million target of the Department of Tourism (DOT).

The number also represented a 15.24 percent growth from the 2018 figure of 7.16 million.

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“This heralds a new milestone in the country’s tourism history, breaching the eight millionth mark,” said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat in a statement on Monday (Feb. 17).

“Without a doubt, our convergence programs with other government agencies, particularly in improving access as well as product development and marketing initiatives with local government and private sector have greatly paid off,” Puyat said.

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Puyat said she hoped the achievement will be sustained “even as we face global challenges.”

DOT earlier estimated that losses covering the peak tourism months of February to April from the impact on tourism of novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) could reach P42.9 billion.

READ: Coronavirus menace to cost PH tourism P42.9 B – DOT

This prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to call on Filipinos to help boost domestic tourism and travel with him all over the country.

READ: Duterte encourages Filipinos to travel with him around the PH

The DOT said Korea remains to be the top source of foreign tourists with 1.98 million Korean arrivals.

China was second with 1.74 million visitors followed by the United States with 1.06 million.

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Edited by TSB
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TAGS: Department of Tourism, foreign arrivals, Tourism
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