(Manila, Philippines) International tourist arrivals for the first quarter of 2018 reached another milestone breaching the two million mark according to the Department of Tourism (DOT).
“We already welcomed over two million foreign guests to the Philippines in just three months compared to last year when it took four months or until April to reach two million,” DOT Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo said.
Tourism statistics tallied 2,049,094 international visitors for the first quarter of the year, which is 14.80 percent higher compared to 1,784,882 for the same period in 2017.
“For the first quarter, it has been a tight contest between the Chinese and the Koreans. In fact, these two key markets, together with the Americans, already comprise more than half our tourist arrivals,” Teo added.
From the more than 86,000 gap between the Korean and Chinese tourist arrivals in January, the Chinese closed the margin to just 7,838 in March, on a per month basis comparison.
The Chinese remains the fastest growing market with 114,549 visitors for the month of March, at a remarkable 50.42 percent growth rate compared with the Koreans at 122,387.
First quarter Chinese travelers garnered 371,429 arrivals (54.53%) trailing behind the Koreans at 477,087 (8.22%) for the first three months of the year.
Not to be outdone, American tourists ranked third with 284,946 (10.44%), followed by the Japanese at 181,178 (8.98%), and Australians at 74,027 (10.81%).
Included in the top twelve tourist source markets are Canada, 70,501 (15.88%); Taiwan, 59,877 (-7.73%); United Kingdom, 56,521 (19.36%); Singapore, 44,398 (9.91%); Malaysia, 37,090 (7.79%); Hongkong, 36,777 (41.88%); and India, 32,999 (22.65%).
”Our target for the Chinese arrivals this year remains at 1.5 million as we strive for more quality tourists who spend more in the country,” Teo shared, also recalling the latest United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Barometer, which named the Chinese tourists as the world’s top tourism spenders for 2017.
Said report cited that China spent the most at USD258 billion followed by America at USD135 billion, Germany at USD84 billion, the United Kingdom at USD63 billion, and France at USD41 billion.
On the other hand, Chinese tourists in the country spent almost USD50 per day with an average length of stay of 6.24 nights last year according to the DOT Annual Visitor Sample Survey 2017.
Shopping, sightseeing, and nature and adventure were the usual activities of Chinese travelers.
Chinese vacationers spent most at department stores, souvenir and curio shops buying food delicacies, apparel, textile and garments, arts and crafts.