MANILA - More than 6.8 million tourists arrived in the Philippines from January to October, 15 percent higher compared to the same period last year, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said on Monday.
South Korea was the country's top source of tourists with 1.6 million arrivals. The DOT said it expects this number to grow further with the signing of a tourism cooperation program between the Philippines and Korea.
China came in second with 1.5 million tourist arrivals, which was 41 percent higher than the number of Chinese visitors from Jan-Oct 2018.
The United States came in third with over 872,000 arrivals, followed by Japan and Taiwan.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the growth in arrivals was due to improved air connectivity, intensified marketing promotions, budding relations with other countries, as well as the growing recognition of the country’s sustainable tourism advocacy.
“The collective efforts and resolve of the whole tourism industry have paid off with the continued increase in our visitor arrivals and tourist receipts as well as recognition from major international award-giving bodies,” said Puyat.
The DOT said the Philippines recently bagged back-to-back diving accolades at the World Travel Awards in Muscat, Oman.
The government has set a target of 8.2 million tourist arrivals for this year.