By Analou De Vera
More than two million foreign visitors arrived in the country during the first quarter of 2019, registering a 7.59 percent growth rate as compared to the same period last year.
“The country welcomed 2,204,564 foreign visitors in the first three months of 2019, reflecting a 7.59 percent rise from last year’s 2,049,094 over the same period,” the tourism department said Thursday.
South Korea remains the country’s top source market with 519,584 tourist arrivals compared to last year’s 477,087.
China ranked second with 463,804 tourists visited the Philippines. The figure is 24.87 percent higher than the previous year’s tally of 371,429.
The United States of America (USA) was placed on the third spot, registering 293,780 visitors.
Completing the top 12 markets for the three-month period are: Japan with 177,769; Taiwan with 77,908; Australia with 73,147; Canada with 72,352; United Kingdom with 53,402; Singapore with 39,484; Malaysia with 37,651; India with 36,275; and Germany with 33,725.
The DOT said that the “record-high international tourist arrivals posted in the first quarter of the year present an encouraging sign that Philippine tourism is on the right track.”
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said that Boracay Island has attracted a growing number of visitors since its reopening in October last year.
“The DOT is working on enhancing our tourism products and tourism infrastructure to entice tourists to choose the Philippines as their next destination,” said Puyat.