Tourist arrivals Hit 3.35 M in First Half of 2017 By Robertzon Ramirez (The Philippine Star)

News Tourist arrivals 2017

MANILA, Philippines - Amid challenges facing the tourism industry, the Department of Tourism (DOT) claimed in last week’s budget hearing that the country’s tourist arrivals increased by 12.7 percent in the first half of this year.

Secretary Wanda Teo said the figure is based on the 3,357,591 foreigners who visited the Philippines from January to June 2017, higher by about 390,000 than last year’s 2,978, 438 arrivals.

South Koreans remain on top of the tourist groupings with 795,085; followed by the US with 513,443; China with 454,962; and Japan with 294,080. 

Notable increases were also gained by India with 54,663 and Canada with 108,243 arrivals.

“In the face of challenges, the country continued to receive a growing influx of tourists from across the globe, desiring to see our world-class destinations and experience the renowned Filipino hospitality,” Teo said, apparently referring to the attacks in Marawi City and the Resorts World Casino.

She attributed the growth to emerging markets and a better tourism industry performance.

For this year, the DOT targets to reach 7 million tourist arrivals, higher than the 5.9 million
arrivals registered in 2016.

Under the National Tourism Development Plan, the DOT aims to grow the tourism sector in the next five years by reaching 12 million foreign arrivals and 89.2 million domestic travelers in 2022.

This is expected to yield  around 6.5 million tourism sector employments and a ten percent GDP contribution by the end of Duterte’s term. – With Catherine Talavera