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Q1 tourist arrivals hit record

By Lailany P. Gomez | Posted on May. 03, 2013 at 12:02am |
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The Tourism Department said Thursday visitor arrivals in the first quarter grew 10.8 percent to a record 1.27 million from 1.15 million a year ago.
This is the second time the tourism sector sustained the 1 millionth arrival in the first three months.
The sector is also on track of achieving the year-end target as arrivals have reached 23 percent of the target for the year,  Tourism said.
Double-digit gains were posted by the Russian Federation at 26.9 percent, followed by Hong Kong, 25 percent; Korea, 23.93 percent; India, 22.10 percent; Singapore 15.42 percent; Australia, 12.65 percent; and Malaysia, 11.86 percent.
By regional grouping, arrivals from the Association of Southeast Asian Nation recorded a 14.82- percent overall growth, while the East Asian market rose 14.15 percent. Among the key markets, only Taiwan experienced a decline in visitor arrivals.
Visitor arrivals in March rose 11.28 percent with 417,392 visitors from 375,083 year-on-year.
Tourism noted this was the fourth consecutive month that the volume of arrivals passed the 400,000 mark.
“This upward trend could be attributed to the upcoming summer season which is a peak season for the tourism industry,” it said.
Korea remains the leading visitor market, cornering 25.83 percent of the total inbound traffic with 328,454 arrivals. The Korean market rose 23.93 percent, the highest among the top five major markets.
Meanwhile, arrivals from the United States reached 186,065 or 14.63 percent of the overall visitor volume. The Japanese market contributed the third biggest arrivals with 114,269 visitors, accounting for 8.99-percent share of the total arrivals.
China registered 98,242 visitors, or a share of 7.73 percent. The Taiwanese market was fifth with 53,867 arrivals, sharing 4.24 percent to total inbound traffic.
Other key markets providing significant volume of arrivals for the first quarter of 2013 were Australia with 53,679 arrivals; Singapore, 41,524; Canada, 38,486; Hong Kong, 36,005; United Kingdom, 32,475; Malaysia, 27,212; and Germany, 22,491.
Tourist arrivals in the Philippines are still hampered by limited airline flights into the country as result of civil aviation concerns. The government took steps to regain Category One Status from the US Federal Aviation Administration, which could also lead to lifting of a ban by the European Union on flights into the country.

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