Trends seen last year continued on in the first month of Visit the Philippines Year — inbound tourism earnings outpacing arrivals in terms of growth, a declining Chinese market, and the rise of cruise ports outside Manila.
The Department of Tourism’s January 2015 report card showed total inbound tourism revenues still exceeding visitor arrivals in growth. The country earned PHP22.48 billion, or 6.63 percent more year-on-year, while arrivals increased by 3.85 percent YoY to 461,383.
The DOT attributed the growth in visitor volume to substantial gains from five of the Philippines’ six biggest markets: South Korea (24.39 percent growth), Australia (12.21 percent), Japan (8.62 percent), U.S. (8.24 percent), and Canada (9.19 percent). However, the overall growth could’ve been higher if it weren’t for the 57.28 percent slump in Chinese arrivals in January. China now is the Philippines’ No. 5 source market from fourth place the same period last year.
Manila is still the main port of entry by air, but it is now second to Palawan in sea arrivals as of January. Palawan welcomed nearly 5,000 inbound tourists. That figure will likely rise as Puerto Princesa City accommodates the rest of the 23 ships scheduled to berth in 2015.