Jan-May foreign tourist arrivals hit 2-M mark

Foreign tourist arrivals in the country reached 2.011 million in the first 5 months of 2013, up 10.5% from a year ago

MORE FUN. Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. (right) says foreign tourist arrivals in the country as of end-May hit the 2 million mark. Photo by Lean Santos/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – More tourists are finding it “more fun in the Philippines” as foreign arrivals in January to May surged over 10% from a year ago to exceed the two-million mark, the Department of Tourism chief said Thursday, July 4.

Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. said 2.011 million tourists visited the Philippines in the 5-month period, up 10.55% from 1.819 million in the same period of 2012.

This was the first time foreign arrivals in the country reached the two-million mark. Jimenez said this was on the back of the success of the country’s tourism campaign.

“There is a greater awareness in the international community of the beauty of the Philippines and what we offer,” he said on the sidelines of a corporate social responsibility conference organized by the League of Corporate Foundations.

Jimenez said the Philippines’ top tourism markets were South Korea, Japan, US and China. 

The number of Taiwanese tourists declined due to a row over the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman by Philippine Coast Guard members.

Interaksyon.com quoted Jimenez as saying, “Japan is back, so is the US. With Taiwan, we had a little hiccup in arrivals.” (A previous version of this story failed to attribute the quote from Jimenez to Interaksyon.com. We regret the error.)

Jimenez nevertheless is hopeful the government will reach its target of 5.5 million foreign tourist arrivals this 2013, given increased flights between the Philippines and Southeast Asian neighbors.

The government is aiming to attract 10 million tourists by 2016, making tourism one of the major drivers of the economy. – Rappler.com

Editors’ note: Our attention was called to a possible case of plagiarism involving this story. We conducted an investigation and found that portions of this story had indeed been lifted from another news site, Interaksyon.com, without proper attribution. We have corrected this and we apologize to Interaksyon.com and its reporter, Ben Arnold de Vera, from whom portions of his story were copied. Because we value the trust of our readers and place a premium on our credibility as a news organization, we have taken the necessary steps to deal with this incident. We have decided to remove the byline of Mr. Lean Santos whose ties with Rappler have been terminated.

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