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‘Moderate’ tourism growth seen this year

The Philippines can expect “moderate” growth in tourist arrivals this year as the government focuses on improving connectivity, Metrobank Research said.

Last year was a good year, it noted, with arrivals reaching 5.36 million, albeit “slightly below the government’s 5.5 million arrivals target for the year.”

“It is, however, the fastest growth in tourists in four years, climbing by 10.9 percent year-on-year,” it said, noting key international events such as Pope Francis’ visit in January and the country’s hosting of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings that culminated in a leaders’ summit in Manila.

For this year, “Expect moderate growth in tourism . . . as the government ramps up its efforts to improve connectivity and as the country hosts the Asean Tourism Forum,” Metrobank Research said.

“The government expects tourist arrivals to accelerate and targets six million tourists for this year. Tourist revenue is also targeted at $6 billion this year, coming from more than $5 billion in 2015,” it added.

In addition to 2015 seeing a total of 5.36 million tourist, earnings also increased to $5 billion. The figures compare to 4.83 million arrivals and $4.8 billion in revenues for 2014.

Korea continued to be the largest tourism market last year, accounting for one fourth of total arrivals. The United States followed with a 14.5 percent share and Japan was third with a 9.6 percent share.

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