Manila, Philippines — Just for the first five months of 2019, a total of 3,489,270 tourists visited the Philippines, marking a 9.76 percent increase from last year’s figures, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT).
“The numbers are very encouraging. From 3,178,984 tourists recorded from January to May in 2018, we are already close to breaching the 3.5 million mark this year. This only shows that the preservation of our environment can go hand in hand with economic gains,” said tourism chief Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.
Secretary Puyat is also pleased to note that for the month of May, tourist arrivals saw an impressive 15.62 percent growth, the highest month-per-month growth rate this year to date, from 537,743 last year to 621,719 this year.
The country’s number one source market, Korea, continues its foothold in the top spot with 788,530 Jan-May arrivals, chalking up an 11.76 percent growth rate comprising 22.6 percent of the total arrivals.
China trails closely behind with 733,769 arrivals for a staggering 30.96 percent increase and with a 21.03 percent market share.
Sustaining its third and fourth rankings are the USA with 472,469 (+1.98%) and Japan with 281,988 (+2.19%).
Another market with a remarkable double digit growth rate is Taiwan at the fifth place with 128,986 (+27.24%).
Australia with 123,851 (+2.7%), Canada with 114,605 (+5.01%), and the United Kingdom with 92,914 (+3.49%), posted positive growth placing sixth, seventh, and eighth, respectively.
Singapore followed at the ninth spot with 64,951 (-14.38%) with Malaysia winding up the top ten markets with 62,144 (+1.81%).