Tourist arrivals in the Philippines hit record high in first half

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Chinese tourists at the Rizal Park in Manila in this January 2011 photo. -- AFP

Visitor arrivals for the first semester of 2018 reached an all-time high of 3,706,721, the Department of Tourism (DOT) reported on Thursday, July 19.

Citing data gathered by the agency’s Statistics, Economic Analysis and Information Management Division (SEAIMD), the DoT said foreign arrivals from January to June of 2018 registered a 10.40% growth against the 3,357,591 arrivals last year.

Arrivals for June 2018 reached 528,747, up by 11.35% compared to the 474,854 arrivals of the same month last year.

“The DOT’s continuous marketing promotions, aggressive actions to create new air routes and develop new tourism products, travel facilitation, and confidence in tourism investments drummed up the industry and resulted to this stellar performance. But I would like to emphasize that this will not be possible without the consolidated efforts of all stakeholders,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat was quoted as saying in a statement released by the DoT.

The Tourism chief is also optimistic that the target of 7.4 million tourist arrivals by the end of year is achievable.

“We are actually on track. We are halfway the year and we are exactly halfway of our National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) target arrivals.”