East Asians dominate Boracay's foreign visitors
AKLAN, Philippines – Foreigners from East Asia dominated the number of inbound travelers to Boracay Island for the first quarter this year.
China and Korea emerged as the top two sources, accounting for 80% of the total international tourist arrivals from January to March, based on figures released by the Malay Municipal Tourism Office.
Due to improved ties and increased air connectivity between cities in China and the Philippines, Chinese tourists became the biggest contributor of outbound visitors with 149,019 – or 48% – of 309,591 total foreigners.
This is followed by the Korean contingent with 97,797 arrivals. Americans ranked third at 8,268 and Russians followed at 4,974.
For March alone, foreigners accounted for 92,835 arrivals, while local tourists accounted 74,226 arrivals. Overseas Filipino workers made up 5,146 arrivals as well.
Tourist arrivals in March, however, dropped by 3% – or 172,207 arrivals – compared to 177,081 arrivals from the same period in 2018.
From January to March this year, foreign visitors stood at 309,451 while domestic tourists reached 184,632 and overseas Filipino workers, 18,293.
Boracay Island managed to accommodate 512,516 tourists for the first 3 months, down by 7% compared to 553,074 arrivals for the same period last year.
The tourism performance is attributed to ‘visitor-cap’ introduced by the national government to tackle tourist-induced congestion and environmental issues on the island.
Boracay was temporarily closed to visitors from April 26, 2018 to October 25, 2018, citing pollution, water, garbage, traffic and solid waste management problems.
The year 2017 ended on a high with 2 million tourists coming to the island, the Department of Tourism (Dot) said, a figure which was beyond the carrying capacity of one of the best beaches in the world.
Tourist arrivals for the full year of 2018 reached 941,868, representing a downward growth of 53% due to Boracay's temporary closure. – Rappler.com