Despite the six-month closure of Boracay, one of the country’s leading tourist spots, the Department of Tourism (DOT) announced that the Philippines reached an all-time record high of 7.1 million tourist arrivals last year.
This record-breaking growth was due to the appreciation and development of other sites around the country which includes “Boracay alternatives” such as Siargao, Palawan, Romblon, Iloilo, La Union and Siquijor.
A total of 7,127,168 foreign tourists from all over the world visited the country in 2018. This is a 7.66 percent increase from the previous year’s 6.6 million tourist arrivals, which already grew by 11 percent from 2016.
According to data gathered by Trading Economics, the average number of tourist arrivals recorded from the years 1991 through 2018 averaged at 254,714.44.
It reached its peak on January 2018 with a whopping total of 732,506 arrivals.
Just last September 2018, the Philippines ranked number 13 among the world’s top 15 tourism powerhouses that showed “absolute growth” from the year 2011 to 2017.
The country’s ranking was announced in the 2018 World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) “Power and Performance Report.
Just like in previous years, South Koreans remain the top visitors with over 1.5 million arrivals, while Chinese tourists rank a close 2nd with over 1.2 million visitors.
The number of Chinese tourists in the Philippines grew by almost 30 percent compared to last year’s 968,447 record. Tourists from the USA come in at third with a total of 1.03 million guests.
Based on last year’s stellar performance, the government aims to continue the shift from mass tourism to “high-volume tourism”.
This means being able to develop and preserve the country’s tourist areas while attracting more visitors, both local and foreign alike.
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