Tourist arrivals up by 12%By Jocelyn R. Uy
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—More than 2.14 million foreign travelers visited the country in the first half of the year, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT).
DOT records showed that visitor arrivals for the first semester of 2012 under the new campaign, “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” were 11.68 percent higher compared to the 1.92 million foreign tourists who visited the country in the same period last year.
Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. on Friday said that with the brisk tourism arrivals, the DOT was optimistic of achieving its target of 4.6 million visitors by yearend.
All major markets registered a positive growth, with South Korea, USA, Japan, China and Taiwan maintaining their ranks as the country’s top sources of tourists, noted Jimenez.
South Korea remains the top source, contributing 474,685 or 22.15 percent of the total. This represents a 10.50 percent growth from last year.
The United States accounted for 16.53 percent of total arrivals with 354,259 visitors while Japan registered 195,504 visitors, up 7.79 percent from 2011.
Records also showed that the Philippines was attracting more visitors from China and Taiwan, which showed the highest growth rates of 42.99 percent and 34.47 percent, respectively. The DOT said 150,749 Chinese tourists and 114,269 Taiwanese visitors arrived from January to June this year.
Australia, Singapore, Canada, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Malaysia and Germany were also major contributors, DOT said.