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Middle East market one of the fastest growing source market for tourism in the Philippines

Tourist arrivals in the Philippines grew by almost 12 percent in the first ten months of this year compared to the same span in 2016, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said on Tuesday.

 

 

In a statement, the DOT cited data showing an 11.54 percent marginal increase in tourist arrivals, from 4,908,017 recorded from January to October of 2016, to a total of 5,474,310 in the same 10-month period this year.

 

Revenue-wise, the department recorded P243.23 billion of visitor receipts from January to September, a double-digit rise of 36.28 percent from the previous year's P178 billion earnings.

 

Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said, “South Koreans remain the country’s top visitor market this year with 1,332,141 arrivals (24.33 percent) followed by China with 810,807 arrivals (14.81 percent).”

 

The US had dropped to third place with 785,269 arrivals (14.34 percent), followed by Japan with 490,857 arrivals (8.97 percent), and Australia with 206,443 (3.77 percent).

 

"International visitor arrivals continue to increase with the influx of Chinese tourists, becoming the second largest in number to come to the Philippines from January to October this year," the secretary added.

 

The number of visitors from China and India saw a significant increase of 39.28 percent and 20.28 percent respectively, the DOT noted.

 

“With the surge in Chinese and Indian arrivals, we are optimistic to hit the target of at least 6.5 million as set by the National Tourism Development Plan for 2017-2022," Teo said.

 

In October, when the number of visitors from the US were first overtaken by those coming from China, Teo had cited Beijing's promise to send more tourists to help boost the country’s visitor arrival figures.

 

The Philippines has seen the consistent growth in tourist arrivals from the Middle East. In 2016, the Philippines received a total of 83,546 tourists from the region, growing by 9.69% over 2015. Tourist arrivals from Saudi Arabia and UAE, the two largest markets out of the region for the Philippines, reached 50,884 and 16,881 respectively. By the end of 2017, the DOT expects to record 100,000 tourist arrival from the Middle East region.

 

The PDOT aims to achieve 7 million tourists by the end of 2017 and proactively developing strategic partnerships with key stakeholders in the Middle East to capture a sizeable percentage of its high-yield tourist market. 

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