The country’s tourism industry performance is off to a thriving start this year and continues to break records with the month of February 2016 reaching a total of 549,725 visitors for a double-digit increase of 20.42% from 2015. In the past 62 months under the Aquino Administration, this has been the highest growth rate and the biggest volume of visitor arrivals.
For two consecutive months, the country’s tourism grew by double digits at 13.17 percent in January and 20.42 percent in February. Total number of inbound visitors recorded from January – February 2016 is already at 1,091,983 or a 16.71% growth from the same period in 2015 and surpassing 1M visitor arrivals in just 2 months.
By regional grouping, East Asia is the country’s biggest source of arrivals with 565,971, constituting more than half of the total visitor volume. Korea continues to supply the biggest arrivals to the country with a total of 284,763 arrivals. This market accounted for 26.08 percent which is more than one fourth of the total arrivals. Except for Hong Kong, all countries from the East Asian markets posted increases, with China reflecting the biggest growth of 107.88 percent from its arrivals of 62,976 in 2015 to 130,916 this year. Another high growth market is Taiwan which posted an increase of 30.89 percent.
The United States of America ranked as the 2nd visitor-generating market with 155, 796 visitors, constituting 14.27 percent of the total and recording a 9.54 percent increase from its arrivals of 142,226 in the same period of 2015. China which provided 130,916 visitors secured the 3rd spot, with a 11.99 percent share to the total. Japan followed by contributing 92,531 visitors, comprising 8.47 percent of the total inbound traffic. The 5th major market was Australia with 43,712 arrivals, comprising 4.00 percent of the total. Rounding up the top ten visitor markets are Canada (+18.36%) with 36,773 arrivals, Taiwan (+30.89%) with 35,344 arrivals, Singapore (+4.04) with 28,376 arrivals, United Kingdom (+20.98%) with 28,238 arrivals, and Malaysia (+2.33%) with 23,990 arrivals.
Countries which also posted substantial growth in inbound traffic to the Philippines in January and February 2016 include France with 12,502 (+22.10%), Spain with 5,092 arrivals (+32.23%), Sweden with 7,073 arrivals (+21.09%), Indonesia with 8,824 arrivals (+16.66%), Switzerland with 6,494 arrivals (+17.09%), Netherlands with 6,049 arrivals (+13.83%), and New Zealand with 3,294 arrivals (+13.55%).
In the past five years, the Daang Matuwid program under the Aquino Administration has made developing tourism a clear policy mandate to drive rapid and inclusive growth in the country. Boosting tourism played an important role in unlocking the much needed investments in the Philippines’ emerging economy, and raising greater awareness among the international community helped open the door for tourism consideration. The Philippines is now approaching almost double of the arrival figures that it started with in 2010.
"The biggest change during this Administration is that we now have the Filipino people more enthusiastic about tourism itself. And the growth that we see today is precisely the result of our people's renewed confidence. We, as a country, believe that we can deliver an experience to tourists that is more fun because we allow visitors to take part in our joy. And the whole world is as convinced that more people should visit and revisit the Philippines," Tourism Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez Jr. said.
Tourism activities for the month of February 2016 generated an estimate of Php 27.49 billion earnings, posting a growth rate of 42.09% from Php 19.35 billion earnings in February 2015. Korea remained to be the top spending market during the month with receipts amounting to PhP 12.92 billion. U.S.A. ranked second with an aggregate visitor spending of PhP 2.87 billion. China rose to the third place with expenditure totaling PhP1.71 billion followed by Japan with PhP 1.45 billion. Completing the top five spending markets is Australia with a total spending of PhP 0.96 billion for the month of February 2016.
The month of February 2016 recorded an Average Daily Expenditure (ADE) of Php 4,907.47. On the other hand, Average Length of Stay (ALoS) of visitors for the same month was registered at 10.03 nights. Moreover, the month’s Average per Capita Expenditure of visitors was computed at Php 49,221.93.
"This unprecedented growth we are now experiencing did not happen overnight. It is the work and effort of the Filipino people who have nurtured and sustained this progress despite various political and economic challenges. Truly, it is the passion and energy of the Filipinos for the Philippines that became instrumental in driving these numbers. In only a few years time, we have finally achieved an enhanced orientation for the DOT as the country’s primary marketing and selling unit. We have restored confidence in the Philippines through a professional, well-planned, and well-supported tourism industry. While we have successfully ushered in an era of modern Philippine tourism, we believe this is just the beginning of a more promising future,” Secretary Jimenez concluded.
Jazmin C. Esguerra
Director, Media and Communications Service