Compared to the same period last year, September 2018 saw a 6.76 percent boost in the number of foreign tourists arriving in the Philippines. At least 512,240 international tourists visited the Philippines last month, bringing the overall arrivals to the country since January 2018 to 4,950,683. This is about 8.32 percent higher than the same period of 2017.
Arrivals are expected to grow further as the holidays approach and tourists flock to visit the newly reopened Boracay island. The target set by the Duterte administration for tourism is 7.4 million visits for the year. Despite the shutdown of Boracay, one of the country’s biggest tourist draws, the tourism industry still recorded growth for April, June, and July. August showed a small dip in visitation, recording a 0.55-percent drop, before the increase picked up again in September.
Visitors from South Korea remain the top market for the country’s tourism. 1.18 South Korean nationals have visited the Philippines between January and September this year. Following South Korea, the biggest market of tourists come from China. 972,550 Chinese tourists came to the country this year so far.
Third in terms of visitor volume is the United States (774,657), fourth is Japan (485,674), followed by Malaysia (109,486), Hong Kong (94,356), and India (92,589).
For September, the highest growing market of international visitors was for Taiwan. A 29.5 percent increase was recorded for Taiwanese tourists, compared to the same period last year.