By Leonel Abasola
MANILA – The Philippines breached the two million mark in international arrivals for the first five months of 2023, surpassing last year’s baseline target.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) announced the good news over the weekend, citing the latest data of 2,002,304 international visitor arrivals from January 1 to May 12 that exceeded the entire 2022 target of 1.7 million foreign visitors.
“Notwithstanding the challenges and difficulties that our country faced, a pandemic and the various calamities that come into our shores, the good news is that these have done nothing to break the Filipino spirit or to diminish the beauty of the Philippines,” DOT Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco said in a news release.
“We’re very optimistic for the prospects in out country in terms of being a tourism powerhouse in Asia, anchored on the strength of our Filipino culture as well as the values of sustainability, resilience and global competitiveness.”
South Koreans made up almost a quarter of the total number of visitors with 487,502 (24.35 percent); followed by Americans with 352,894 or 17.62 percent; Australians, 102,494 (5.12 percent); Canadians, 98,593 (4.92 percent); Japanese, 97,329 (4.86 percent); Chinese, 75,043; Taiwanese, 62,654; British, 62,291; Singaporeans, 53,359; and Malaysians, 36,789.
Citing the same report, DOT recorded PHP168.52 billion in inbound visitor receipts from January to April, or 782.59 percent higher than the PHP19,093,427,035.59 generated during the same period last year. (PNA)