Dept of Tourism : PH posts 7.1-M record-breaking tourist arrivals in 2018

Dept of Tourism : PH posts 7.1-M record-breaking tourist arrivals in 2018

A record-breaking year for the Department of Tourism (DOT).
The country just had its record-breaking 7.1 million international tourist arrivals in 2018, the DOT reported.
DOT data showed that at least 7,127,168 foreign tourists visited the country, the "highest ever number" in the Philippines' tourism industry, surpassing the 6,620,908 arrivals in 2017 by 7.68 percent.

Tourist arrivals in NAIA (photo credit to owner)

“This is a time that celebrates the 7.1 million tourist arrival count -- the highest ever in our country’s history, while at the same time championing the cause of an economic activity that can support and transform lives of common Filipinos," Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.
The country’s top 5 source market are as follows:
1.    South Korea - 1,587,959, 
2.    China - 1,255,258
3.    United States of America - 1,034,396 
4.    Japan - 631,801; and
5.    Australia - 279,821.
Trailing the top 5 are Taiwan with 240,842; Canada at 226,429; United Kingdom with 201,039; Singapore with 171,795; Malaysia with 145,242; India with 121,124; and Hong Kong with 117,984.
The DOT takes pride that the country’s tourism growth has outdone the world average tourism growth and average growth for Asia and the the Pacific of 6 percent as identified by the United Nations World Tourism Organization's World Tourism Barometer.
DOT Sec admits the tally did not meet the agency’s target of 7.4 million, she reasons that the six-month shutdown of Boracay, one the Philippines top draw affected the numbers.
Boracay island resort receives an average 80,000 tourists every month meaning it lost around 480,000 due to the closure.
Despite this, Sec. Romulo-Puyat still described the closure as a "blessing in disguise."
“The challenging act of closing down Boracay -- a flagship destination, the country’s top sun-and-beach destination has evidently become a blessing in disguise for secondary tourism spots to have a share of the lime light and attention they truly deserve," DOT Sec said.
"It shows that turning off the faucet when the water is unclear can bring a fresher flow in just an unexpected period of time. With this, we have also seen the transition from a mass tourism perspective shifting into high-value tourism direction that prioritizes quality over mere quantity,” she added.

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Report from PNA

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