Published on : Saturday, February 3, 2018
Last year, more than 6.6 million foreign tourists visited the Philippines, marking a growth not seen before in the country’s tourism industry and surpassing the official target of 6.5 million tourist arrivals.
The Philippines Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo said that in 2017, tourist arrivals increased by 11 percent from 5.97 million in 2016. The information is based on data from the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer.
Tourism in the country grew despite political noise, security concerns and travel advisories against the country.
“We overcame these challenges with the innate resiliency of the Filipinos and the cooperation of everybody. And for that we are very thankful,” Teo said.
Teo said that the Philippines hosted the Miss Universe Pageant and the Asean Summit, Madrid Fusión Manila 2017, the World Street Food Congress and the UNWTO International Conference on Tourism Statistics.
South Korea remained the top source of tourists for the Philippines with 1,607,821 tourists, or a quarter of the total. Boracay and Cebu remained the top destinations for Koreans last year. China followed closely with 968,447 arrivals due to the improved ties between the Philippines and China, added air routes and the Visa Upon Arrival (VUA) option for Chinese nationals. Japan and Australia made it to the top five markets with 584,180 and 259,433 arrivals, respectively.
For this year, around 7.4 million international tourist arrivals are anticipated.
“For this year, with an expanded marketing plan, improved quality, human resource capacity, and service standards, we will continue to push for new and underrated destinations. We are also looking at the farm and faith tourism sectors.” Teo said.