7,127,168 foreign tourists visited the Philippines last year tallying the highest ever number in the country’s tourism industry according to the Department of Tourism (DOT).
The improvement came at a 7.65% growth rate compared to the 6,620,908 in 2017 while December registered 687,726 foreign tourist arrivals second best to the month of January 2018 at 732,506.
“This is a time that celebrates the 7.1 million tourist arrival count – the highest ever in our country’s history, while at the same time championing the cause of an economic activity that can support and transform lives of common Filipinos,” announced DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.
This tourism milestone happened amidst the closure of the country’s flagship destination and the Department’s change of leadership last year.
South Korea remained the country’s top source market with 1,587,959 while China recorded 1,255,258 arrivals, the most improved market at an impressive 29.62% growth rate.
USA remained at third with 1,034,396 arrivals. Japan and Australia wound up the top five markets with 631,801, and 279,821 arrivals respectively.
Completing the top twelve markets are Taiwan, 240,842; Canada, 226,429; United Kingdom, 201,039; Singapore, 171,795; Malaysia, 145,242; India, 121,124, and Hongkong, 117,984.
This development was announced today during the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) 2016-2022 review held at the Makati Diamond Residences. The meeting aimed to reassess the NTDP targets and DOT’s strategic action programs to make them more competitive, inclusive and sustainable.
“During this mid-term review, we must together revisit the goals set during the inception of the plan and determine which components need fine-tuning and which ones are working wonders as drawn. We have exceeded many of the NTDP targets, from our sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product or G-D-P, to our Domestic Arrivals. So I encourage all of you here to give your take in setting new industry goals,” Puyat stated.
The NTDP midterm assessment was attended by DOT officials, tourism stakeholders and partners from the private sector.