International visitor arrivals in the Philippines surged past the five million mark in August, boding bright prospects of attaining the tourism industry targets going into the last quarter of 2019.

According the Department of Tourism (DOT), inbound foreign guests reached 5,554,950 for the period of January to August this year, indicating a 14.08 percent increase from the 4,869,417 tourists recorded during the same period of 2018.

For the month of August alone, a total of 702,843 visitors arrived based on the data released by the DOT Office of Tourism Development Planning, Research and Information Management (DOT-OTDPRIM). This number is 27.54% higher than the 551,088 arrivals in the same month last year.

Sec. Puyat expressed appreciation for the support of tourism industry stakeholders in the private sector as well as the local government units (LGUs) in the implementation of the government’s sustainable development program throughout the country’s 7,641 islands.

“This is very encouraging even as we await the completion of the statistics gathered for the month of September. The convergence approach of the DOT with other government agencies and its partners in the industry is proving effective in expanding travel connectivity while inviting more tourists to come and visit through more enticing tourism products and packages.” said DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.

The DOT monthly report also showed Korea registering 185,334 visitors in August, regaining the top post for the country’s tourist markets followed by China, which recorded 170,903 in the same period.

Notably, Japan’s 78,699 tourists took the third spot, overtaking the United States, which accounted for 68,418 tourists in the month of August.

The DOT Chief, who assumed her post in May 2018, has taken steps to revitalize the country’s diverse tourism portfolio, showcasing farm, food and heritage tourism products, as well as emerging destinations that are as fascinating as the recently awarded, world-acclaimed Boracay, Cebu and Palawan islands.

Balikbayan Media Center
Balikbayan Media Center

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