September 06, 2019 at 07:55 pm
Othel V. Campos
Foreign tourist arrivals in the Philippines rose 12.4 percent to 4.8 million in the first seven months of 2019 from 4.3 million year-on-year.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat cited sustained support from industry stakeholders, government, host communities, investors and foreign travel trade counterparts for the increase.
“We remain inspired knowing that private sector, other government agencies and civil society continue to support our sustainable tourism programs and the more fun brand campaign. The Build, Build, Build program and other convergence programs, on the other hand, are key to improving our competitiveness and attractiveness,” she said.
Data from the Department of Tourism show that Korea remained the top tourist market with 1.1 million arrivals, followed by China with 1,04 million.
Tourists from the United State ranked third with 663,116 arrivals, while those from Japan totaled 382,634. Taiwanese tourists were the fifth-largest source of foreign travelers with 192,195.
Completing the top 12 markets were Australia, 164,378; Canada, 146,000; United Kingdom, 125,371; Singapore, 94,061; Malaysia, 84,815; India, 80,383; and Germany with 62,179.
“We enjoin more support for our sustainable tourism efforts not only in key destinations but in all areas to continually drive inbound traffic and spread the benefits of tourism to the countryside. After all, tourism is everybody’s business,” Puyat said.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier signed four laws declaring new tourist spots in Luzon, three of which are from Ilocos Sur, to boos tourism.
The new travel destinations are Mount Bulaylay in Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija, Candon City Ecotourism Zone in Ilocos Sur, Santiago Cove in Santiago, Ilocos Sur, and Pinsal Falls in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur.
The DOT and the Department of Public Works and Highways will be tasked to prepare a tourism development plan “involving the construction, installation, and maintenance of such appropriate facilities and infrastructure.”
The facilities and infrastructure must “improve the overall feature of the area” to ensure accessibility and security of tourists.