MANILA, Philippines – Asian tourists have cornered more than half of total visitor arrivals in the Philippines in the first four months of 2014, according to latest data from the Department of Tourism (DOT).
DOT data showed that visitor arrivals from the Asian continent accounted for 58.06 percent of total arrivals for the period, with tourists from Korea, China and Japan leading the pack.
The ASEAN countries were the largest contributor to growth at 10.94 percent. The biggest growth was recorded by Myanmar at 43 percent, followed by Brunei with 30.57 percent.
Other countries in ASEAN also registered growth: Malaysia (19 percent); Vietnam (15.95 percent); Laos (10.99 percent); Singapore (7.52 percent); Indonesia (4.96 percent); Thailand (1.6 percent) and Cambodia (0.86 percent).
After Asia, the second largest contributor to foreign visitor arrivals for the four-month period was Australasia/Pacific, which grew 10.23 percent.
Northern Europe recorded a 9.47 percent increase, while North America grew 9.15 percent.
The DOT attributed the growth to the intensified promotional efforts geared towards the country’s source markets which was started in 2013.
For the first four months of 2014, DOT reported arrivals of 1.69 million international visitors to the Philippines, growing at 2.85 percent compared to the same months in 2013 with registered arrivals of 1,649,458.
Of these arrivals, the month of April 2014 hosted 386,656 visitors, an increase of 2.33 percent relative to 377,879 the previous year.
South Korean market remains the top contributor for international visitors with 374,223 arrivals or a 22.06 percent share to the total inbound traffic.
The US (+8.52 percent) supplied the second largest influx of arrivals with 266,972 visitors, constituting 15.74 percent of total inbound traffic.
The Chinese market (+27.09 percent) gave significant boost to the industry, providing a total 168,155 with a share of 9.91 percent.
Japan (+4.36 percent) ranked fourth, amassing 155,447 visitors, or 9.16 percent.
Australia was fifth with 80,102 arrivals and a share of 4.72 percent. This market recorded an encouraging 11.23 percent increase vis-à-vis its arrivals of 72,015 last year.
Rounding up the top 10 visitor markets are Singapore (+7.52 percent) with 59,241 arrivals, Canada (+12.35 percent) with 56,571 arrivals, United Kingdom (+16.61 percent) with 50,205 arrivals, Taiwan (-34.27 percent) with 45,125 arrivals, and Malaysia (+19.6 percent) with 41,942 arrivals.
For the month of April, other emerging markets with substantial growth were Norway (+33.50 percent) with 1,630 arrivals, the United Arab Emirates (+24.28 percent) with 1,500 arrivals, New Zealand (+17.76 percent) with 1,684 arrivals, Italy (+12.93 percent) with 1,528 arrivals, and the Netherlands (+11.50 percent) with 2,114 arrivals.