Philipapines sees all-time high visitor arrivals

Twin Lagoons, Coron, Palawan, one of the most instagrammable places in the world

The Philippines Department of Tourism (DOT) announced that the island country has witnessed all-time high in visitor arrivals, with 8 million guests visiting in 2019.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo- Puyat, said, “The launching of the refreshed It’s More Fun in the Philippines branding campaign, re-opening of Boracay, sustainable tourism advocacy efforts, improved air connectivity, hosting of big ticket tourism events, intensified digital and online marketing, mainstreaming of different tourism product portfolios including culinary tourism and farm tourism, healthy private-public partnerships, international accolades and recognitions – all helped the industry in breaching the country’s historic eight million mark.”

In 2018, the country welcomed 7.1 million foreign visitors.

“Breaching the eight million mark is another milestone to celebrate, as it marks the unprecedented growth of the country’s tourism industry,” she said.

The Department of Tourism had welcomed over 6.8 million visitors in the first ten months of 2019, marking a 15 per cent increase.

For the first ten months, Korea still tops the list with a total of 1,609,172 arrivals, which is expected to further improve following the signing of the tourism cooperation programme between the Philippines and Korea. China came in second with 1,499,524 followed by the United States of America (USA) at third place. Japan and Taiwan make up the top five markets.

Manila, through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, served as the main gateway welcoming 396,446 tourists but Cebu, which was recently included in the Unesco Network of Creative Cities, followed suit with 131,217 arrivals. Incidentally, its Mactan-Cebu International Airport Terminal 2 earned the top prize in the Completed Buildings-Transport Category at the recently concluded World Architecture Festival.

On top of the growing tourist arrivals, the Philippines bagged back-to-back diving accolades at the World Travel Awards in Muscat, Oman. The country bested eight other global dive destinations namely Azores Islands, Bora Bora in French Polynesia, Cayman Islands, Fiji, Galapagos Islands, Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Maldives, and Mexico, after copping the Asia’s Leading Dive Destination from the regional edition.