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Tourist influx in the Philippines surges

MANILA, Philippines – More foreign tourists have arrived in the Philippines this year, staying for more days and spending more money, as indicated by the data collected by the country’s Department of Tourism (DOT) for the month of January.
DOT Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo on Wednesday disclosed that January arrivals totaled 631,639.
This reflects an “impressive growth” of 16.48 percent from the 542,258 sum for the first month of 2016, generating a sum of Php 21.681 million in receipts.
“We have to keep the momentum going now that we are in the implementation phase of the Tourism Development Plan for 2017-2022, which aims to unleash the potentials of our tourism industry and make it more competitive,” said Teo, referring to the impetus gained in the country’s successful hosting of the Miss Universe pageant last January 30.
She also noted a sharp increase in arrivals from China, which posted a 76.48 percent growth from January last year and rose to third biggest market.
“We are now seeing the fruits of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s reaching out to China. Doors to more economic opportunities and people-to-people exchanges are opulently wide now more than ever that ties between Manila and Beijing have seen a new day,” Teo added.
As in previous months, Korea is the biggest visitor market with 154,367 arrivals, followed by the United States, 99,435; China, 85.948; Japan, 51,516; and Australia, 27,826.
Also posting significant growth in visitor arrivals are Canada, 24,352; Taiwan, 21,926; the United Kingdom, 15,747; Singapore, 12,000, and for the first time, India with 11,805.
Data also showed an average daily expenditure of Php 3,659 while the average per capita expenditure for the month amounted to Php 38,823 and stayed in the country for an average of 10.61 nights.
Korea also remains the top spending market with visitor expenditure of almost Php 6.5 million. The USA comes second with visitor spending of about Php 3.69 million. Japan is third with P2.12 million; Australia fourth, Php 1.59 million, and Canada with Php 1.09 million.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.