By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

MORE TOURISTS. Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco announces the Philippines’ latest arrival figures at the Internationale Tourismus-Börse (ITB) 2024 Convention in Germany on March 5, 2024. International tourist arrivals to the Philippines have tallied 1,227,815. (Photo courtesy of DOT)

MANILA – The Philippines is off to a good start in reaching its year-end arrival target after getting 1.2 million foreign visitors in the first two months of 2024 alone, the Department of Tourism (DOT) reported Thursday.

As of March 5, international tourist arrivals to the Philippines have tallied 1,227,815.

Foreign tourist arrivals took the lion’s share with 1,160,129 or 94.49 percent while overseas Filipinos make up the remaining 67,686.

Speaking at the Philippine Pavilion at the Internationale Tourismus-Börse (ITB) 2024 Convention in Germany, Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco said this is 22.86 percent higher than the 999,390 arrivals received by the country in the same period in 2023.

“I would like to express my profound gratitude first to all our Philippine sellers who continue to champion Philippine tourism. As of today (March 5), the Philippines has received over 1.2 million international visitors, a robust indication of the future of Philippine tourism. Cheers to all the reasons to celebrate and Love the Philippines,” she said.

South Korea remains the country’s top source market for visitors, with 349,956 or 28.50 percent of the total, followed by the United States with 195,603 (15.93 percent), China with 85,876 (6.99 percent), Japan with 73,159 (5.96 percent), and Canada landing in the fifth spot with 50,555 (4.12 percent).

Australia took the sixth spot with 50,488 (4.11 percent), Taiwan with 42,955 (3.50 percent), the United Kingdom with 30,507 (2.48 percent), Singapore with 25,253 (2.06 percent), and Germany with 20,816 (1.70 percent).

In January, the country’s visitor receipts also grew by 4.84 percent to USD652.26 million from the USD622.14 million recorded in the same month last year.

The Philippines targets to generate 7.7 million arrivals this year after breaching its 4.8 million arrival target and capped 2023 with 5.45 million international visitors. (PNA)