Tourist arrivals grow double-digit in Jan-Sept

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TOURIST arrivals in the first three quarters of the year reached 3.98 million, more than 10 percent higher than the 3.59 million arrivals recorded in the same period in 2014, data from the Department of Tourism showed.

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The double-digit growth was driven by faster third-quarter arrivals (up by 17.27 percent year-on-year), which historically posts lower tourism levels compared to other quarters.

Moreover, consistent double-digit gains were recorded from July to September, with September recording the highest growth while July registered the biggest arrivals at 489,724 visitors.

“Expect arrival levels to inch up leading to December when tourists frequently post the highest arrival levels compared to the rest of the months of the year,” MetroBank research analyst Mabellene Reynaldo said in a weekly market commentary.

“Airport scams, which were brought to the public around September, may dampen tourist sentiment in the coming quarters especially if not addressed,” she said.

“Total tourist arrivals for 2015 given the current trajectory may be a bit below the 5.5-million target set by the government,” Reynaldo added.

The DOT data showed that South Korea continues to be the top source of visitors, already with 25.03 percent share of total tourism volume from January to September.

The United States was a far second with a 14.5 percent share, followed by Japan with 9.56 percent share. High growth regions, though small in volume, are Eastern Mediterranean, Europe (up by 44.8 percent), South America (up by 33.5 percent), and South Asia (up by 33.5 percent) – underscoring the government’s aim to spur growth in non-traditional markets.

Meanwhile, visitor receipts or earnings generated from tourism activities for the first nine months of 2015 grew by 7 percent, rising to P168.75 billion from the P157.73 billion recorded last year.

For September alone, visitor receipts amounted to P16.56 billion, which is 24.24 percent higher than the previous year’s earnings of P13.33 billion. From July to September, visitor receipts posted double-digit gain, with September posting the highest growth.

Average daily expenditure (ADE) of international visitors for the month of September 2015 was estimated at P5,438.47 while average length of stay (ALoS) for the same month registered at 9.20 nights. On the other hand, average per capita expenditure of visitors for the month in review was P50,033.96.

Korea was the biggest contributor of visitor earnings for the country with P4.7 billion, overtaking the United States with P2.8 billion. Japan was in third place with P1.2 billion followed by Australia (P1.08 billion), and China (P1.06 billion) as the fourth and fifth biggest contributors of visitor receipts.

On the other hand, visitors from United Kingdom had the highest per capita expenditure for the month of September with P80,165.74, while visitors from India recorded the second biggest per capita spending at P64,738.66.

Other top markets with high visitor spend include Australia with P61,202.03, the United States with P60,815.80 and Canada with P54,537.47.

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