Jan tourist arrivals surge 16.5% to 631.6K

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Foreign tourist arrivals in the Philippines in January rose 16.48 percent year-on-year to 631,639, the Department of Tourism (DoT) said on Friday.

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The arrivals in the first month of 2017 generated P21.681 billion in tourism receipts, the DoT reported.

The January figure for tourist arrivals reflects an “impressive growth” from the 542,258 tourists who arrived in Jan-uary 2016, it said.

“We have to keep the momentum going now that we are in the implementation phase of the National Tourism Development Plan for 2016-2022, which aims to unleash the potentials of our tourism industry and make it more competitive,” Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo said in a statement, referring to the impetus gained from the country’s successful hosting of the Miss Universe pageant on January 30.

She also noted a sharp increase of arrivals from China, which posted growth of 76.46-percent from January last year and rising to become the third biggest market.

“We are now seeing the fruits of President Rodrigo Duterte’s reaching out to China. Doors to more economic op-portunities and people-to-people exchanges are opulently wide now more than ever that ties between Manila and Beijing have seen a new day,” Teo added.

South Korea remained the biggest visitor market with 154,367 arrivals, followed by the United States with 99,435; China with 85,948; Japan with 51,516; and Australia with 27,826.

Also posting significant growth in visitor arrivals were Canada, 24,352; Taiwan, 21,926; United Kingdom, 15,747; Sin-gapore, 12,000, and India with 11,805.

Data also showed an average daily expenditure of P3,659 while the average per capita expenditure for the month amounted to P38,823. Tourists stayed in the country for an average of 10.61 nights.

Korea was still the top spending market with visitor expenditure of almost P6.5 billion. The United States came in second with visitor spending of about P3.69 billion. Japan was third with P2.12 billion; Australia fourth with P1.59 billion, and Canada with P1.09 billion.

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