MANILA—The Department of Tourism (DOT) said Friday the number of international visitor arrivals in the Philippines from January to November of 2019 reached 7.48 million, 15.58 percent higher compared to the same period in 2018.
The DOT recorded 684,063 international visitors in November 2019, a 21.25 percent rise increase from the same month of the previous year.
“We are just happy that our collected efforts paid off with the yearend projections indicating an outstanding performance of the tourism industry,” DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a statement.
According to the DOT, the country's hosting of the 30th SEA Games from late November to early December is expected to boost 2019 figures in foreign visitors.
However, Puyat said strengthening the country’s sustainable tourism development program is more important than hitting the targeted numbers. DOT said the National Tourism Development Program (NTDP) for 2016-2022 originally projected an 8.2 million total international tourist arrivals, even as the country welcomed the 8 millionth tourist in December.
“The continued increase in tourist arrivals through November ensures we would have achieved a year-end total that surpasses that of the previous year,” the tourism chief said.
"But what’s more important is we have launched a successful movement for sustainable tourism."