May 052013


MANILA, Philippines—There were 1.27 million foreign tourists who visited the country during the first quarter of the year, setting the pace for the government to reach the 5.5 million mark for 2013, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT).

The first-quarter visitor arrivals marked a 10.76-percent growth from the 1.15 million visitors recorded during the same period last year.

“This marks the second time that foreign tourist arrivals breached the one-million mark in the first quarter,” the DOT said on Sunday.

Records showed that Korea remained the leading visitor market, capturing 25.83 percent of the total inbound traffic, followed by the United States, with 186,064, or 14.63 percent, of the overall visitor volume.

At least 114,269 visitors from Japan have been recorded from January to March, accounting for 8.99 percent of the total market share, while arrivals from China have reached 98,242. Rounding up the top five visitor markets for the first quarter is Taiwan, with 53,867 tourists.

The country also enjoyed significant number of visitors from the following countries: Australia, 53,679; Singapore, 41,524; Canada, 38,486; Hong Kong, 36,005; United Kingdom, 32,475; Malaysia, 27,212; and Germany, 22,491.

“Month after month, we bear witness to a steady upward performance and new record highs. This only means that the efforts of the department and its partners are bearing fruit,” said Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr.

“To achieve our 2013 target of 5.5 million and 2016 target of

10 million, the department and its industry partners are actively working on stimulating greater demand overseas, while infrastructure agencies have committed to step up our convergence programs to facilitate entry and access to the different destinations in the country,” Jimenez added.

He also noted that the ongoing expansion and development of secondary gateways will greatly help ease the volume of traffic in the primary gateways of Manila and open the country to more international visitors by bringing them closer to their destinations in the country.

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