MANILA, Philippines – South Korean and Chinese tourists were the top visitors to the Philippines from January to October this year, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT).
Data released by the DOT on Tuesday, December 12, showed that there were 1.33 million South Korean tourists for the 10-month period, representing 24.33% of total arrivals.
Chinese tourists were 2nd with 810,807 arrivals, comprising 14.81% of the market share, while Americans came in 3rd with 785,269 or 14.34%.
Rounding out the top 5 are Japanese tourists with 490,857 arrivals for an 8.97% share, and Australians with 206,443 arrivals or 3.77%.
Compared to last year's figures for the same period, Chinese arrivals jumped 39.28%, while Indian visitors rose 20.28%.
Those surges helped overall international visitor arrivals rise by 11.54% in the first 10 months of the year to 5.47 million, from 4.91 million in the same period in 2016.
That also translated into more revenue for the country, with visitor receipts recording a double-digit gain of 36.28% or P243.23 billion for the period of January to September, up from the P178 billion for the same period last year.
Back in August, the Bureau of Immigration decided to grant visas on arrival to qualified Chinese nationals, including tour groups and delegates to conventions, in order to boost tourism and investment.
"With the surge in Chinese and Indian arrivals, we are optimistic to hit the target of at least 6.5 million as set by the National Tourism Development Plan for 2017-2022," said Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo. – Rappler.com