First quarter reaches 2 million international tourist arrivals

According to the Department of Tourism (DOT), international tourist arrivals for the first mark of 2018 breached the two million mark—reaching another milestone.

DOT Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo said they already welcomed over two million foreign guests into the country in just three months compared to last year where it took until April to reach two million.

Tourism statistics showed that 2,049,094 international visitors came to the Philippines for the first quarter of the year, which is 14.80 percent higher compared to 1,784,882 for the same period in 2017.

Reportedly, the Chinese and the Koreans are the two key markets for the first quarter — together with the Americans, they comprise more than half of the country’s tourist arrivals.

From the more than 86,000 gap between the Korean and Chinese tourist arrivals in January, the Chinese closed the margin to just 7,838 in March, on a per month basis comparison. The Chinese is also the fastest growing market with 114,549 visitors for the month of March, at a remarkable 50.42 percent growth rate compared with the Koreans at 122,387.

First quarter Chinese travelers garnered 371,429 arrivals (54.53%) while the Koreans amassed 477,087 (8.22%) for the first three months of the year. Not to be outdone, American tourists ranked third with 284,946 (10.44%).

”Our target for the Chinese arrivals this year remains at 1.5 million as we strive for more quality tourists who spend more in the country,” Teo shared.

The usual activities of Chinese travelers in the country include shopping, sightseeing, and going on an adventure, while Chinese vacationers usually spend their time at department stores, souvenir and curio shops buying food delicacies, apparel, textile and garments, and arts and crafts.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].

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