DESPITE Taiwan’s travel ban to the country, the Department of Tourism (DOT) reported on Thursday a 10.12 percent increase in tourist arrivals from January to April this year compared to last year.
The DOT data showed that 1,649,458 tourists visited the country, with January having the highest arrival at 436,079 and February generating the highest growth of 15.52 percent.
The Koreans remained on top of tourist arrivals at 406,595. They also have the biggest market share in the total inbound traffic of the country at 24.65, posing a growth of 23.08 percent.
The United States was the second biggest source market with 246,011 visitors or a share of 14.91 percent followed by Japan with 148,950 (9.03 percent), China is fourth with 132,307 (8.02 percent) and Australia fifth with 72,015 (4.37 percent).
The DOT said Australia was ranked fifth because of the 12.06 percent increase of arrivals since last year, pushing Taiwan to sixth. A total of 68,654 Taiwanese visited the country, reflecting a slight decline of 8.30 percent.
Among the top producers in terms of volume and percentage growth are Singapore with 55,096 (15.90 percent); Canada with 50,352 (4.25 percent); Hong Kong with 45,734 (12.87 percent); United Kingdom with 43,055 (3.10 percent); Malaysia with 35,069 (8.36 percent); and Germany with 28,799 (9.16 percent). Other source markets with double-digit gains include Russia (30.33 percent), India (23.13 percent), and France (20.10 percent).
“This growth is an affirmation of our various marketing and destination development activities, strengthened by partnerships with the various stakeholders. While the upsurge may primarily be attributed to the summer season, it is also a clear indication that the nation has galvanized its reputation as an attractive destination,” Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. said.
“We have been seeing a sustainable increase in arrivals since last year. This building enthusiasm for the Philippines, aided by our government’s good governance agenda, gives us the confidence to achieve our target of 10 million tourist arrivals by 2016. Central to this, we are reaching out to industry, government, and civil society to continue investing in sustainable projects and partnerships to secure our continued growth,” he added.