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Tourist arrivals still on the rise

By Donnabelle L. Gatdula (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 28, 2013 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - Tourist arrivals continue to pick up in the first four months of 2013 to 1.65 million, up 10.6 percent from the same period in 2012, a Department of Tourism (DOT) official said.
DOT Undersecretary Daniel Corpuz told reporters on the sideline of the AsiaMoney and Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) forum “Leisure, Tourism & Gaming in the Philippines” that for the month of April alone, arrivals reached about 377,000.
He said tourists from South Korea remain on top of the list, followed by the US, Japan and China.
Corpuz said they expect the arrival of Korean tourists to remain strong and continue to grow more than 20 percent.
With the continuing rise in arrivals, Corpuz said they don’t see the need to revise downward their target of 5.5 million tourist arrivals for the year despite the travel moratorium imposed by the government of Taiwan.
“We continue to be optimistic that there’s not much impact to the government’s tourism revenues,” he said.Business ( Article MRec )
It was noted that for the month of May and June, there would be around 9,000 travel cancellations from Taiwan.
He said they would intensify efforts to lure more tourists from other parts of the world to compensate the loss incurred from the Taiwan government’s decision to impose a travel ban to the Philippines.
According to Corpuz, they still look forward to a strong tourist arrival figure for the months of November to December.
“Essentially, these months are peak season. We believe that our target (5.5 million) is achievable,” he said.
He said the DOT would continue its efforts to convince other government agencies and the private sector to invest more on tourism-related projects.
On the private sector side, the DOT official noted that there is also a commitment from Philippine carriers to increase their fleet by 33 aircraft which will be completed within January to March next year.
For the government side, he said they would be pushing for more bilateral contacts with other countries when it comes to expansion of airline routes.
Corpuz said they are also working out ways of expediting the process of travel documents like issuance of visas.
For the first three months of the year, tourists arrival went up 11 percent to 1.27 million.
At present, tourism revenues represent 6.2 percent of the country’s GDP and contributes about 4.2 million in employment in both tourism and transport sector.
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