Published on : Sunday, January 27, 2019
The archipelago nation with over 7,000 islands experienced the jump in the number of visitors by almost eight percent in the previous year, with South Koreans leading the way with highest number of tourists.
This rise came without much help from Boracay, which remained closed for clean up from April to October after President Rodrigo Duterte branded it a “cesspool” contaminated by irresponsible development.
Prior to the closure, the tiny island’s white sand beaches and turquoise waters were observing around two million sun worshippers every year.
“The challenging act of closing down Boracay … the country’s top sun-and-beach destination has evidently become a blessing in disguise,” said Philippine tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.
Other exotic hotspots like natural paradise Palawan and beach destination Siargao Island experienced a major jump in foreign tourists at the time of Boracay closure.
While South Korean headed the pack with 1.6 million tourists, Chinese arrivals also increased by almost 30 percent over 2017 to hit 1.3 million, the department of tourism said.
Americans to the former US colony were almost one million.