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Who are PH’s top tourists?
Find out which countries topped the Philippines' tourist list in 2013

MANILA, Philippines – Koreans are still the number one tourists in the Philippines, accounting for nearly 25% of visitor arrivals in the country last year.

They are also among the biggest spenders, according to data released by the Department of Tourism on Thursday, February 13.

Some 4.68 million foreigners visited the Philippines in 2013, 9.6% higher than the 4.27 million recorded in 2012. Growth came as more flights were mounted to the country’s international gateways.

The Tourism department said Korea remained the Philippines’ biggest source of inbound tourists, with a 24.9% share equivalent to 1.17 million arrivals.

At second place was the United States, with 674,564 arrivals or a 14.4% share.

Below is a table showing the Philippines’ top source markets.


RankCountryJan-Dec 2013Share (%) Jan-Dec 2012Share (%)Growth Rate (%)
1 KOREA 1,165,789 24.90 1,031,155 24.13 13.06
2 USA 674,564 14.41 652,626 15.27 3.36
3 JAPAN 433,705 9.26 412,474 9.65 5.15
4 CHINA 426,352 9.11 250,883 5.87 69.94
5 AUSTRALIA 213,023 4.55 191,150 4.47 11.44
6 SINGAPORE 175,034 3.74 148,215 3.47 18.09
7 TAIWAN 139,099 2.97 216,511 5.07 -35.75
8 CANADA 131,381 2.81 123,699 2.90 6.21
9 HONGKONG 126,008 2.69 118,666 2.78 6.19
10 UNITED KINGDOM 122,759 2.62 113,282 2.65 8.37
11 MALAYSIA 109,437 2.34 114,513 2.68 -4.43
12 GERMANY 70,949 1.52 67,023 1.57 5.86


The share of Chinese visitors in inbound arrivals expanded to 9.1% in 2013 from 5.9% in 2012. The substantial increase was first felt in May 2013 when Chinese arrivals posted a 107.7% growth. The opening of new regular and chartered flights between the Philippines and China, as well as the increase in cruise itineraries helped drive the numbers up.

On the other hand, a substantial decline in the share of Taiwanese tourists was recorded. Taiwan accounted for only 2.97% of visitor arrivals last year, versus 5.07% in 2012.

Taipei issued a red travel alert against the Philippines last year after the Philippine Coast Guard killed a Taiwanese fisherman in disputed waters. The alert barred tour agents from promoting travel here, resulting in reduced flights from Taiwan. (READ: Manila gives ‘official apology’ for Taiwanese fisherman’s death)

The travel advisory came with other economic sanctions, including a freeze on Filipino workers. (READ: Pinoys lose 10,000 jobs due to PH-Taiwan row)

Biggest spenders

The tourists who went to the Philippines last year spent an estimated $4.4 billion during their stay, up 15% from 2012.

On a daily basis, these tourists spent $101.12 on average, 8.7% higher than the average in 2012.

Koreans had the biggest daily expenditure of $140.81.

In terms of per capita spending, visitors from Canada topped the list with $1,393.68, followed by Australia, with $1,382.48. Other high-spending markets were Germany ($1,360.34), US ($1,334.34), UK (1,306.86), and again, Korea ($874.59).

Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. expects the numbers to continue to grow on the back of the country’s fast economic growth.

He said international events will also bring in more tourists.

“Our main cities will play hosts to a great number of international conferences and events, which include the 5th World Ecotourism Conference in Cebu this February and WEF East Asia Summit in May.”

The Philippines targets to attract 10 million tourists by the end of the Aquino administration’s term in 2016. –


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