International visitor arrivals breach 4.8 million DoT target

International visitor arrivals breach 4.8 million DoT target

THE PHILIPPINES welcomed over 4.8 million international visitors as of late November, surpassing the target set by the Department of Tourism (DoT) for 2023.

“As of Nov. 27, the country has registered a total of 4.82 million visitors who visited the country,” the department said in a statement on Tuesday.

South Korea remained the top source of foreign arrivals, accounting for 1.27 million tourists or 26.37% of the total.

Rounding up the top five were the US with 797,181 (16.53%), Japan 272,735 (5.66%), China 242,107 (5.02%), and Australia 225,464 (4.68%).

Tourism Secretary Maria Esperanza Christina G. Frasco said in a statement that the visitors spent P404 billion, “underscoring the value of tourism to our economy.”

She said that tourism continues to drive growth and provide incomes and jobs following the implementation of the National Tourism Development Plan 2023 to 2028.

“We are beginning to see the merits of our strategies towards increasing connectivity, convenience, and equality in tourism development and promotions, as well as the invaluable partnership of our tourism stakeholders in the private sector,” she added.

Tourism employs 5.35 million, the department said.

The DoT said it will be positioning the country as a global hub for sports tourism, including golf, through the Philippine Golf Tourism Summit this week. “It’s about time that the government and the private sector come together to converge and to collaborate,” she said.

The Philippines has over 100 golf courses.

“Golf tourism represents a promising frontier for the Philippines and this summit highlights our proactive approach in understanding, nurturing, listening to the golf tourism industry and developing this niche as part of our tourism industry portfolio,” Ms. Frasco said. — Justine Irish D. Tabile