August 3, 2012
The Department of Tourism (DOT) remains positive on achieving its year-end target, as the country welcomed a total of 2,143,506 million foreign visitors for the first semester. Visitor arrivals rose 11.68% compared to last year’s 1,919,400 visitors.
“Since the campaign launch in January, we have been actively spreading the FUN to all corners of the globe, notably in Germany during the world’s largest travel fair, International Tourismus Borse; in Japan during the 6th Philippine Business Mission; in the US for the Memphis in May International Festival; in the Middle East during the Arabian Travel Mart; and currently in Korea with our participation at the Yeosu Expo 2012. Our presence in U.K. is intensified through our mobile ads on the double-decker buses, taxicabs, and the underground rail stations, with the perfect opportunity to capture millions of viewers of the ongoing London 2012 Olympics. We expect to see more tourists during the peak season before the year ends,” Tourism Secretary Jimenez said.
“Moreover, current policy reforms to facilitate entry, infrastructure developments to improve travel within the country, fresh investments to expand transportation, accommodation, and recreation facilities, and product enhancement – all these will help realize our year-end target of 4.6 million visitors,” Secretary Jimenez added.
All key markets registered a positive growth, with Korea, USA, Japan, China, and Taiwan maintaining their positions as the country’s top tourist generators. Korea remains to be the biggest source, contributing 474,685 visitors for a share of 22.15% of the total volume and posting a 10.50% growth.
The US market captured 16.53% of the total arrivals at 354,259 visitors, growing at 4.80% compared to last year’s figures. Meanwhile, Japan yielded 195,504 or 9.12% of the total visitors, with an increase of 7.79%. China and Taiwan exhibited the highest growth rates of 42.99% and 34.47%, respectively, contributing 150,749 and 114,269 tourists.
Other markets consistently providing significant volume and positive growth are Australia with 92,648 arrivals (11.95%), Singapore with 73,015 (10.36%), Canada with 65,503 (7.12%), Hong Kong with 57,790 (2.36%), United Kingdom with 57,181 (11.30%), Malaysia with 49,788 (11.96%) and Germany with 34,189 (12061%). Overseas Filipinos supplied 5.16% to the total tourist traffic at 110,703 arrivals, exhibiting a steady growth of 4.46%.
The summer months of March to May 2012 also saw 105,766 more foreign tourists, equal to a 10% increase for the same period in 2011.
Recently, the Philippines received global exposure and affirmed its status as a must-see destination with the recognition of Boracay as “2012 World’s Best Island” by Travel + Leisure Magazine. Boracay jumped from 4th place in 2011 to 1st in 2012, and bested last year’s #1 Santorini, Greece (now #6) and Bali, Indonesia (still #2). Ariara Island, a luxurious private island resort in Calamian, Palawan, also ranked first in the Top 100 holiday destinations of Vogue-UK Magazine’s August 2012 issue.
“The Philippine tourism industry is beginning to enjoy an international renaissance, which has the capacity to propel the country into one of the region’s best performers over the next decade. With P1.99 trillion projected receipts by 2016, we can look forward to seeing tourism become not just an economic activity, but an entire industry driving inclusive and sustained growth in the country,” Secretary Ramon Jimenez enthused.