Manila, Philippines – The Department of Tourism (DOT) showcased the world-renowned Filipino hospitality in welcoming the Philippines’ eight millionth guest this year.

“Breaching the eight million mark is another milestone to celebrate, as it marks the unprecedented growth of the country’s tourism industry,” enthused Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo- Puyat.

The momentous occasion is part of the Department’s tradition of celebrating the arrival of significant number of tourists following the welcoming of the Philippines’ five millionth visitor in 2015.

While the detailed report of visitor arrivals for 2019 will be released early January next year, the Tourism Chief has her eyes set on a record-breaking number of visitor arrivals, already besting the 7.1 million foreign visitors recorded in 2018.

DOT Assistant Secretary for Tourism Development Roberto P. Alabado III (left) welcomes Japanese Yachiyo Imamoto, the country’s eight millionth tourist this year.

“Needless to say, we warmly welcome Yachiyo Imamoto, our eight millionth visitor, to the Philippines. The DOT wishes for a fun-filled stay here for Yachiyo and for every tourist of the country thereafter especially this holiday season,” added Secretary Puyat.

Imamoto, from Yokohama, Japan, arrived in the country at 1.33 in the afternoon with her husband Tamio on December 27 via All Nippon Airways Flight NH 869 and was personally welcomed by Assistant Secretary for Tourism Development Roberto P. Alabado III.

Not a stranger to the Philippines, the 71-year old beauty product dealer already went to the country for eight times to visit her foster family whom they host in exchange in Japan.

“We are truly thankful to be chosen for this event. This our eighth visit here and we always visit our close friends in the Philippines,” shared Yachiyo.

The couple, who are also certified beach lovers, have already been to popular tourist destinations like Cebu and Palawan and will tour in Baler this time around.

“The Filipinos are very hospitable. I also keep coming back for mangoes, masarap,” echoed husband Tamio.

“The launching of the refreshed It’s More Fun in the Philippines branding campaign, re-opening of Boracay, sustainable tourism advocacy efforts, improved air connectivity, hosting of big ticket tourism events, intensified digital and online marketing, mainstreaming of different tourism product portfolios including culinary tourism and farm tourism, healthy private-public partnerships, international accolades and recognitions –all helped the industry in breaching the country’s historic eight millionth mark,” said the tourism chief.

Balikbayan Media Center
Balikbayan Media Center

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