The Philippines has recorded more than three million international visitor arrivals seven months into the year, closing in on its target 4.8 million tourists in 2023.
The latest data from the Department of Tourism (DOT) recorded a total of 3,000,079 international visitor arrivals from Jan. 1 to July 19 this year.
The country’s inbound tourism receipts from Jan. 1 to June 30 also climbed to PHP212.4 billion or 502.02 percent higher than the PHP35.6 billion generated from the same period last year.
Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco, who is currently on leave, said these post-pandemic figures reflect the sector’s “robust recovery” and the gains of the Marcos administration toward tourism resurgence.
“Tourism provides employment and livelihood to millions of Filipinos. We are grateful for the renewed interest worldwide in the Philippines, which offers a multitude of reasons to love travel across our islands,” she said. “We thank as well our fellow Filipinos who continue to travel domestically, supporting our local communities and families who are all part of the tourism value chain.”
Of the arrivals, 91.36 percent, or 2,740,802 are foreign tourists and the rest are returning overseas Filipinos.
South Korea ranked the highest in the number of arrivals with 741,658 (24.72 percent) followed by the United States with 550,569 (18.35 percent); Australia with 146,062 (4.87 percent); Japan with 143,227 (4.77 percent); and Canada with 132,018 (4.4 percent).
Other top source markets are China with 129,077 visitors (4.3 percent); Taiwan with 104,211 (3.47 percent); United Kingdom with 85,847 (2.86 percent); Singapore with 81,656 (2.72 percent); and Malaysia with 54,411 (1.81 percent).
The DOT earlier said it sought to reach 4.8 million in foreign visitors by the end of 2023.
This follows the positive momentum set in 2022, which successfully closed with 2.65 million visitors, translating to PHP214 billion or roughly USD4 billion in estimated revenues. (PNA)