Published on : Friday, January 12, 2018
Exceeding expectations and going past political noise on the war on drugs and terrorism in Mindanao, tourist arrivals in the Philippines reached a record 6.8 million last year, surpassing the government’s target of 6.5 million, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT).
Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon T. Teo said that preliminary figures indicate around 6.8 million foreigners came to the Philippines last year.
Teo said, “It was almost 7 million. Our target was 7 million, but we have to reduce it to 6.5 million.”
Tourist arrivals in the Philippines last year was 15 percent higher than that of 2016. With the impetus the country gained from last year, Teo said that the DOT is aiming to attract 8 million tourists this year. She said that besides the usual tourists from South Korea, the United States and China, the Philippines is also beginning to pique the interest of the Russians—mainly due to active relations between Moscow and Manila under President Duterte—and Canadians.
The tourism chief also said that she expects more tourist arrivals from China under Manila’s warmer ties with Beijing. From January to August last year, the Philippines earned as much as $3.3 billion, or P166.3 billion.