By Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 11, 2015 - 12:00am
Tourists wait in line at the airport.
MANILA, Philippines - Tourist arrivals in the first nine months of the year went up 11 percent on the back of various international events held in the country, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said.
International tourists for the January to September period rose to 3,983,627 from the 3,596,523 arrivals in the same period last year.
The month of September showed the highest year-to-date growth rate, with inbound visitors increasing to 393,589, up 19.64 percent from 328,981 visitors a year ago. Consistent double-digit gains in arrivals have been recorded over the past three months, the DOT noted.
“Driving the growth in the past months are the various international events held in the country, including the APEC meetings, the continued recognition of Philippine destinations by many travel magazines and online companies, and the aggressive reach of our ‘It’s More Fun in the Philippines’ campaign,” DOT Assistant Secretary Rolando Canizal said in a text message.
The DOT is close to reaching its 2015 target of five million arrivals as key markets posted substantial growth and markets which were down last year have recovered.
“We are optimistic Philippine tourism will breach the five-million mark in arrivals this year as we anticipate a new era of tourism growth in the coming years,” Canizal added.
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Total revenue from inbound visitors for January to September grew seven percent to P168.75 billion. Inbound receipts for September alone amounted to P16.56 billion, 24.24 percent higher than the previous year’s earning of P13.33 billion.
Asia contributed the biggest arrivals in September with 264,143 visitors or 67.11 percent of total.
The Americas accounted for 13.88 percent of the market with 54,632 while Europe comprised 7.7 percent contributing 30,320 arrivals. Australia and the Pacific shared 5.58 percent and overseas Filipinos registered 2.65 percent.
Korea remained the top contributor of international tourists for January to September with 997,135 arrivals or a 25.03 percent share of total inbound traffic.
The United States supplied the second biggest inbound arrival with 577,508 visitors while the Japanese market also grew and ranked third with a total of 380,815 visitors. Meanwhile, China provided 373,795 arrivals and Australia recorded 170,706 visitors.
Other top visitors include Singapore with 136,039 arrivals; Taiwan with 135,194 arrivals; Malaysia with 117,184 arrivals; United Kingdom with 112,360 arrivals and Canada with 109,852 arrivals.
Moreover, Korea provided P4.73 billion in receipts, followed by the United States with visitor receipts at P2.82 billion. Japan placed third with P1.19 billion while Australia and China contributed P1.08 billion and P1.05 billion, respectively.
On the other hand, spending patterns for September showed average daily expenditure was estimated at P5,438.47 while average length of stay registered is at nine nights.