MANILA, Philippines – Foreign visitor arrivals soared in the first four months of the year with a 10.12-percent increase from the same period in 2012, the Department of Tourism (DOT) noted on Thursday.
The state agency said a total of 1,649,458 foreigners visited the country from January-April, with January yielding the largest volume of 436,079 visitors and February posting the highest growth of 15.52 percent.
The figure represents 30 percent of the target arrivals for 2013, DOT added.
Bringing the most number of visitors was Korea with 406,595 or a market share of 24.65 percent and growth of 23.08 percent.
This was followed by the United States with 246,011 visitors or a 14.91-percent share, Japan (148,950 or 9.03), China (132,307 or 8.02 percent), Australia (72,015 or 4.37 percent) and Taiwan (53,867 or 4.24 percent).
Rounding out the top sources of foreign visitors are Singapore with 55,096 (15.90 percent), Canada with 50,352 (4.25 percent), Hong Kong with 45,734 (12.87 percent), United Kingdom with 43,055 (3.10 percent), Malaysia with 35,069 (8.36 percent) and Germany with 28,799 (9.16% percent). Other source markets with double-digit gains include Russia (30.33 percent), India (23.13 percent) and France (20.10 percent), DOT said.
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“This growth is an affirmation of our various marketing and destination development activities, strengthened by partnerships with the various stakeholders. While the upsurge may primarily be attributed to the summer season, it is also a clear indication that the nation has galvanized its reputation as an attractive destination. We have been seeing a sustainable increase in arrivals since last year. This building enthusiasm for the Philippines, aided by our government’s good governance agenda, gives us the confidence to achieve our target of 10 million tourist arrivals by 2016. Central to this, we are reaching out to industry, government, and civil society to continue investing in sustainable projects and partnerships to secure our continued growth,” Tourism Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. said.