Manila row with Beijing takes toll on PH tourist arrivals


DIPOLOG CITY – The maritime row between Manila and Beijing has taken its toll on tourist arrivals in the Philippines.

President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday conceded that the Department of Tourism (DOT) failed to meet its target of 4.6 million tourist arrivals last year because of tensions over the West Philippine Sea.

In a speech at the inauguration of the new building of a private college here, the President did not specifically name China, but alluded to a “big nation” that jeopardized DOT’s target in 2012.

“It’s because we have a neighbor, which is a big country, that is somewhat harsh at us once in a while. It’s barring its citizens from visiting us,” he said, but quickly added:

“This caused us to miss (the DOT target), but that’s alright.”

The President, however, was still upbeat about the sudden influx of tourists in the country considering the measly tourist arrivals for the last nine years and a half under his predecessor.

“The tourist arrivals, for the entire nine and a half years, were perhaps 1.6 or 1.9 million. But it eventually reached three million. In the two years that we’re in charge, the three million almost became 4.6 (million) last year. But our target (for 2016 is) 10 million. So why did we fail to hit 4.6 million?” he asked, pointing out that only 4.3 million had been recorded by the DOT.

The DOT has launched an aggressive campaign to direct tourist traffic to the many islands of the country under the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” slogan.

Specifically, a grand total of 4,272,811 tourists visited the country last year, the first time the country breached the four million mark.

Although the target for the year was missed, the DOT earlier said in a statement that the figure was a 9.07-percent increase over the 3,917,454 visitors in 2011.

It said that crossing the four-million mark was a feat in itself.

The DOT attributed “some shortfalls” to “economic and political pressures” (in the) traditional markets such as the United States, Europe and China.”

“Despite a few bumps on the road, all key source markets still registered positive growth for the year,” said Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, optimistic that his agency was on track to achieving its ultimate goal of 10 million visitor arrivals by 2016.

Despite the obvious lack of infrastructure to access countless attractions across the archipelago, he still believed that crossing the five-million milestone in 2013 was still achievable.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • mynnyx

    hay pinoy hayaan muna ang mga tsikwa……..dapat nga huwag ng papuntahin ang mga tsikwa sa atin………………………kung ganyan naman na mangaagaw ng di sa kanila……..ang kailangan mo lang pinoy ay daan matuwid…………para umunlad tayo……………..

  • zombie77

    Kung ayaw ng mga Intsik pumunta sa Pilipinas…………huwag na silang pumunta. Karamihan naman sa pumupunta ay nagkukunyari lang na turista……….yun pala eh………mga pushers o drug traffickers o kaya gumagawa ng ilegal na gamot.Di ba marami ang nahuhuli  ng pulis natin??? Karamihan may ari ng drug laboratories ay Intsik??

    Dapat i – promote natin ang Pilipinas sa ibang bansa liban sa Tsina. Huwag tayong maghintay ng mga turistang Intsik……….marami pang ibang mga turista sa ibang bansa.

  • McAlaglag

    Bakit itsik lang ba ang tourists na inaasahan natin?  Karamihan nga ay criminal na galing sa china. Ang talagang kailangan natin ay western tourists na gumagastos din.  Ang problema puro promo lang tayo. Alam naman ng mundo na marumi at kulang ang support facilities natin umpisa pa lang sa NAIA. How can you have FUN when many places are dirty and full of criminals.  There’s kotong cops, holduppers, rapists and corrupt govt officers. Pag maayos at tahimik ang bansa, hindi na kailangan ng promo.  Kakalat agad yung good news.

  • joboni96


    wean pilipino economy
    from intsik switik economy

    to india russia brazil southafrica japan

    stop mineral shipment to intsik switik
    to india russia brazil southafrica japan

    rollback intsik switik control
    of pilipino economy

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks




latest videos