Tourist arrivals, earnings up in July

By Catherine talavera

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MANILA, Philippines — The tourism sector continued to grow in July as visitor arrivals rose 1.28 percent driven by the influx of visitors from the East Asia region.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) reported a total of 568,035 visitor arrivals in July, slightly higher than the 560,872 visitors registered in July 2016.

Visitor receipts in July posted double-digit growth despite the minimal rise in tourist arrivals.

International visitors spent a total of P33.5 billion in July, 58.22 percent higher than P21.9 billion expenditures posted in the same period last year.

This brings the total number of foreign visitors to an estimated 3.93 million from January to July of this year, an 11 percent rise from 3.54 million posted in the same period last year.

East Asia provided the biggest influx of tourists with 301,349 arrivals, or 53.06 percent of total.

“Korea, Japan and China accounted for 47.58 percent of the total volume,” the DOT said.

Korea remained the top source market with a total of 132,136 arrivals, while China overtook the US as the second top source market for the month of July as it registered 90,763 arrivals.

The DOT is expecting Chinese tourist arrivals to hit the one million mark this year, given improved diplomatic relations and the implementation of the Visa Upon Arrival policy for Chinese nationals.

North America also displayed significant growth in tourist arrivals in July, accounting for a 17.87 percent share of the total arrivals at 101,509 arrivals.

The ASEAN region comprised 6.46 percent of the total or 36,667 arrivals.

Japan and Taiwan grabbed the fourth and fifth spots, posting 47,377 and 20,451 arrivals, respectively.

Other countries in the top ten markets area Australia with 19,985 arrivals, United Kingdom with 17,254 arrivals, Canada with 15,159 arrivals, Singapore with 12,535 arrivals and Malaysia with 10,632 arrivals.

Meanwhile, total tourist receipts for the first seven months of 2017 hit P179.8 billion, a 21 percent rise from P148.56 billion registered in the same period last year.

“The latest statistics show that the average daily expenditure for July is P5,989.49 while the average length of stay of tourists in the country is recorded at 9.81 nights,” the DOT reported.

In addition, the average per capita expenditure of visitors for July is pegged at P58,756.86.

Korea was the top-spending market in July with an estimated expenditure of P9.83 billion. This was followed by China with P8.89 billion and the US with P3.95 billion.

Taiwan was the fourth largest spender in July with an estimated expenditure of P2.17 billion, followed by Japan with P1.66 billion.

For this year, the tourism department is targeting to hit the 7 million mark in tourist arrivals, higher than the 5.9 million arrivals registered in 2016.

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