Increase in Chinese tourists turning the Philippines into a principal tourism destination

 Saturday, August 31, 2019 


The increase of Chinese travelers is finally turning the Philippines into a key tourism destination in Southeast Asia.


In spite of its pristine beach resorts and colorful festivals, the Philippines dragged behind compared to its neighbors in the region. The country was attracting only about 6 million tourists each year, versus the tens of millions received by Thailand and Malaysia.


But in 2018, the Philippines witnessed a record high 7.1 million tourist arrivals. Nearly half of them came from South Korea, China and the USs, as per the Philippines Department of Tourism.


The Philippines DOT said that China alone accounted for around 17 percent of the Philippine tourism market, recording 1.25 million arrivals last year. This is almost 30 percent higher than 2017’s arrivals, making China “the most improved market” and the second-largest source market for the Philippines tourism.


Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon said that the Philippines aims to attract more Chinese tourists, targeting 1.63 million arrivals by the end of this year.


Bengzon said that the Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to improve diplomatic relations with China has encouraged more Chinese tourists to visit the country.


In 2018, flag carrier Philippine Airlines ramped up operations to China by increasing flight regularity to 103 times weekly.


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