The Philippines has already exceeded its full-year target for international tourist arrivals, the Department of Tourism said on Tuesday.
Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco said the country had already booked 4,822,530 million visitors as of November 27, which was above the 4.8 million target for the whole of 2023.
Frasco said foreign tourists made up 91.9 percent of the arrivals, with the remaining 8.1 percent returning overseas Filipinos.
“South Korea remains the country’s top source market for foreign arrivals which brought in 1,271,602 tourists or 26.37 percent of the total,” the DOT said.
Visitors from the United States of America came in second with 797,181; Japan followed with 272,735; China with 242,107; and Australia with 225,464.
The DOT credits the rise in arrivals to the liberalization of visa policies, the building of tourist rest areas, and several other new initiatives. “This cements our position as one of the strongest pillars of the Philippine economy that employs no less than 5.35 million Filipinos in the tourism industry sector, ensuring jobs, livelihood, and the well-being of communities all over the country,” Frasco added.
The DOT also launched its campaign to promote the Philippines as a destination for golfers.
The DOT said the Philippines has over 100 golf courses spread across Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
The country also has one of the oldest gold courses in Asia, namely the Santa Barbara course in Iloilo, which was built in 1907, the DOT said.
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