Number of foreign visitors up by 16% in January — DOT
The foreign visitors to the country rose by nearly 16 percent in January following efforts by the government and the private sector to boost its promotion campaigns and air connectivity, the Department of Tourism said yesterday.
In a statement, the DOT said January’s visitor arrivals hit an “all-time high” of 732,506, which is 15.97 percent increase compared to January 2017.
The figures gathered by the DOT Tourism Research and Statistics Division-Office of Tourism Planning, attributed the over-all increase to arrivals from China and South Korea.
South Korea topped the January arrivals, with 198,145, a 28.36-percent increase compared to January 2017, followed by China with 111,344 or a-29.55 percent growth compared to the same month last year.
“This welcome news bodes well for the tourism sector and the government’s efforts to boost the tourism industry, which is among the top contributors to our gross domestic product,” Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Tulfo-Teo said.
She added that last year’s momentum carried over this year with the improved air connectivity through increased flights between Philippine gateways and various airports in major visitor markets, including China, Korea, United States, Australia and Canada.
Recently, Xiamen Airlines mounted a three-times-a-week commercial direct-flight service between Fuzhou, China to Kalibo in Aklan and Puerto Princesa in Palawan, using Airbus A321 with 197 seat capacity.
The DOT’s route development team is working on a new route, Tianjin-Puerto Princesa, to further boost Chinese arrivals, she said.
“The development of new routes is in consonance with our National Tourism Development Plan’s strategy to upgrade air connectivity from major tourist source markets to the Philippines,”Teo said.
Also posting a double-digit growth from January 2017 is the United States with visitor arrivals of 109,154 (14.90 percent) while Japan contributed with 57,038 (7.79 percent), and Australia with 30,924 arrivals (4.41 percent).
Other arrivals that improved in January 2018 compared to the same period last year are Canada, 28,913; Taiwan, 18,948; United Kingdom, 18,111; India, 13,779; Singapore, 13,627; Malaysia, 12,012; and Hongkong, 9,284.
Teo said that with the combined efforts of the DOT and the stakeholders, she was confident that the government will achieve its 7.5 million target international arrivals in 2018. /je
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