DOT Asst. Sec. Rolando Canizal said that this number is an increase of around 15 percent compared to the 1.39 million acquired in the same quarter last year.
“The growth is attributed to the good perception of the Philippines as a destination as shown by various awards and citations given by international travel organizations and the successful hosting of APEC and other events,” Canizal said in a text message.
In January 18 to 22, the Philippines hosted the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF), which is a cooperative regional meeting meant to promote the ASEAN region as a single tourist destination.
The country also hosted other big-ticket events such as the Routes Asia last March 6 to 8 and the second edition of Madrid Fusion Manila last April 7 to 9 to name a few.
For March 2016 alone, foreign tourist arrivals reached 510,270 which is an 11.86 percent increase versus the 456,163 arrivals in the same period last year.
The country’s tourist arrivals grew by double digit this year at 13.17 percent in January, 20.42 percent in February, and 11.86 percent in March.
Top three markets include Korea with a total of 383,544 visitors for the first quarter of 2016, supplying the biggest arrivals to the country. Korea is followed by the USA with 231,233 visitors and China with 184,512 visitors.
Rounding up the top ten visitor markets are Japan (143,624 visitors), Australia (67,265 visitors), Canada (53,301 visitors), Taiwan (52,102 visitors), UK (49,097 visitors), Singapore (44,441 visitors) and Malaysia (36,601 visitors).
As for receipts, tourists generated approximately PHP67.74 billion from January to March 2016.
For March alone, tourists generated approximately PHP18.31 billion worth of earnings which is a 6.85 percent growth from the PHP17.13 billion earnings in the same period last year.
The Average Daily Expenditure (ADE) recorded for March 2016 is PHP4,933 while the Average Length of Stay (ALoS) of visitors for the same month is nine to 10 nights.
Top spending market is still Korea with receipts accumulating to PHP4.09 billion, followed by the US with PHP3.119 billion and Australia with PHP1.46 billion.
Completing the top spending markets are Japan with PHP1.10-billion and Canada, with a total of PHP1.06 billion. (By Azer N. Parrocha, PNA)