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Tourist arrivals in January up by 15.97-percent from last year -- DOT.

By Betheena Kae Unite

Visitor arrivals in the country in January hit an all-time high record of 732, 506 arrivals, the Department of Tourism (DOT) revealed Tuesday night.

Based on the latest data disclosed by the tourism department, the tourist arrivals in the country in January was 15.97 percent higher than January last year.

The Tourism Research and Statistics Division, Office of Tourism Planning, attributed the "impressive figure" to the influx of Chinese tourists, as well as the continued arrivals en masse of Koreans.

South Koreans remain the top visitors in the Philippines with 198,145 arrivals that reflect an impressive 28.36 percent rise from January 2017 while the Chinese arrivals of 111,344 indicate a 29.55 percent increase from the same period last year.

"This welcome news bodes well for the tourism sector and the government's efforts to boost the tourism industry, which is among the top contributors to our gross domestic product," Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Tulfo-Teo said.

"Last year's momentum carried over this year with the improved air connectivity via increased flights between Philippine gateways and various airports in major visitor markets, including China, Korea, the United States, Australia and Canada," Teo added.

Xiamen Airlines recently mounted a three-times-a-week commercial direct-flight services between Fuzhou, China to Kalibo, Aklan and Puerto Princesa, using Airbus A321 with 197-seat capacity.

According to Teo, another new route from China is in the works -- the Tiajin (TJN)-Puerto Princesa (PPS).

"The development of new routes is in consonance with our National Tourism Development Plan's strategy to upgrade air connectivity from major tourist source markets to the Philippines," Teo said.

United States, on the other hand, posted higher visitor arrivals with 109,154 or 14.90 percent growth.

Japan contributed with 57,038 arrivals, up by 7.79, and Australia with 30,924 arrivals, up by 4.41 percent.

Other arrivals that improved in January 2018 compared to the same period last year are Canada with 28,913; Taiwan with 18,948; United Kingdom with 18,111; India with 13,779; Singapore with 13,627; Malaysia with 12,012; and Hongkong with 9,284.

"I am confident that with the combined efforts of the DOT and the stakeholders, we will achieve our 7.5 million target international arrivals in 2018," said Teo.

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(Jojo Rinoza/Manila Bulletin File Photo)

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Title Annotation:National
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Feb 21, 2018
Words:390
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