Visitor arrivals rise in four months to April on more flights, marketing activity

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THE Department of Tourism (DoT) said international visitor arrivals in the four months to April were over 8% ahead of the year-earlier pace, led by visitors from China.

In a statement Wednesday, the DoT said: “(F)oreign visitor count for January to April 2019 totaled 2,867,551, or an increase of 8.57% over… the same period in 2018.”

The visitor count for April was 662,987, up 12.5% from a year earlier.

The DoT also reported that China, South Korea, the US, Japan, and Australia were the leading sources of visitors.

“The top five markets with their respective volumes and growth rates (in April) are: China with 139,177 (+26.77%), Korea with 130,707 (+13.68%), USA with 87,710 (+2.5%), Japan with 57,724 (+17.75%) and Australia with 28,683 (+13.41%),” the DoT said.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the increase was due to additional flights and stronger marketing by the private sector. She also added that more initiatives to promote sustainable tourism and upgrade airport facilities are producing consistent monthly growth in foreign arrivals.

“(W)e anticipate more visitors to sustain this upward trend,” she said in the statement.

“We also attribute increased travel movement and consumption to continued efforts in developing new and existing tourism circuits all over the country in pursuit of sustainable tourism,” she added.

The DoT has said that it is targeting international visitors this year of 8.2 million, against the 2018 target of 7.6 million, which was not met with actual arrivals of only 7.2 million. — Gillian M. Cortez