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Philippines tourism industry on track

The Philippines is on track to meet its target of 5.5 million tourist visitors for 2013 after the country consistently posted over 400,000 visitors each month in the 1st quarter of the year. Visitor arrivals for 1st three months of 2013 reached a record high of 1,271,579, a 10.76% increase from 1,148,072 in the same period in 2012. Department of Tourism (DOT) data recorded 436,079 arrivals in January, 2013,418,108 in February, 2013, and 417,392 in March, 2013.

South Korea was the leading visitor market from January to March, 2013, with 328,454 arrivals, rising by 23.93% for the period. Other top markets were United States of America with 186,065 or 14.63% of overall visitor volume; Japan with 114,269 visitors or 8.99%; China with 98,242 visitors or 7.73; and Taiwan with 53,867 arrivals or 4.24%. Other key markets included Australia, 53,679 arrivals; Singapore, 41,524; Canada, 38,486; Hong Kong, 36,005; United Kingdom, 32,475; Malaysia, 27,212; and Germany, 22,491. Revenues from foreign tourists reach $1.15 billion for the 1st quarter of 2013, higher than the $1 billion in the same period in 2012.

The government implements tourism-related reforms and infrastructure programs to address connectivity and multi-modal access to achieve its target of 5.5-million tourist arrivals this year. The lifting of the Significant Safety Concerns by International Civil Aviation Organization augurs well for the goal to attract more foreign visitors, which at the end of the Aquino Administration in 2016 is expected to hit 10 million. The tourism sector is seen to account for 18% to 20% of the country’s total employment by 2016.

The DOT’s “It’s more fun in the Philippines” campaign launched last year has boosted the country’s tourism program and the DOT has since launched various television ads to promote the campaign.

We congratulate the Department of Tourism, headed by Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez Jr., and Undersecretary for Tourism Planning and Promotions Daniel G. Corpuz, other Officers and Personnel, in their overall efforts to bring the Philippine tourism to unprecedented heights, and in the process, make it a “rising star” in the travel and tourism industry in the Republic of the Philippines. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY!

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