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Published on : Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. said on the sidelines of the First Philippine Tourism Forum yesterday that foreign tourist arrivals in the first seven months of the year reached 2.8 million, 11 percent higher than a year earlier. The tourism chief said international tourists who visited the country last July alone reached a record 418,000 from 377,000 a year ago.
The seven-month foreign arrival figure gives them greater optimism they would meet or even surpass their 5.5 million tourist arrival target this year, he said.
He said the ASEAN economic integration in 2015 would provide a boost to Philippine tourism industry.
Jimenez said they expect the ASEAN initiative to increase tourist arrivals in the Philippines by five percent.
He also said, “Yes, we’re on track. We are already over 2.8 million for January to July which means we are now growing at 11 percent, it may also be the first time in history that we will be able to hit the five million tourist arrival mark.”
By 2015, the Department of Tourism (DOT) expects international tourist arrivals to reach eight million.
The Philippines still lag behind its neighboring countries in terms of international arrivals with 4.3 million in 2012 as against Malaysia (25 million), Thailand (22 million) and Vietnam (6.8 million).