MANILA, Philippines—A businessman from Seoul who arrived Thursday morning at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 is the country’s one millionth South Korean visitor this year.
Department of Tourism (DOT) officials led welcome rites for Kook Nam Han, 37, a resident of Seoul, who arrived on board Philippine Airlines flight PR-467 at around 11:30 a.m. He was welcomed by a banner proclaiming him the one millionth South Korean visitor and by a woodwind band from Polytechnic University of the Philippines.
Tourism Undersecretary Daniel Corpuz and Manila International Airport Authority general manager Jose Angel Honrado led the welcome rites.
Cruz said Kook will receive free accommodations from Edsa Shangri-La and Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa, a Cebu package tour from DOT, and various products from Duty Free Philippines.
“I want to thank all Filipinos for welcoming all Koreans. Filipinos are a kind-hearted people, just like the Koreans. That’s why Koreans go here because Filipinos are kind to us,” Kook told reporters in a brief interview.
Cruz said the welcome rites served to honor the contributions of Korean tourists and investors to the country’s tourism industry.
DOT statistics showed that Koreans were among the top foreign visitors this year, averaging 90,000 monthly.
Koreans go to the Philippines for vacation, honeymoon, business and English language lessons, according to the DOT.
Most Korean tourists go to Boracay and Cebu beach resorts, Bohol and the Puerto Princesa Underground River, the DOT said.
From January to October this year, 832,437, or 23.93 percent, of the total 3.48 million visitors to the country were Koreans.