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Philippines records 'all-time high' 7.1M tourist arrivals in 2018

The Philippines has set a record-breaking 7.1 million international tourist arrivals in 2018, the Department of Tourism (DOT) reported Thursday.

A total of 7,127,168 foreign tourists visited the Philippines last year, a figure that is 7.65 percent higher than 2017's 6.62 million arrivals, the DOT said in a statement.

“This is a time that celebrates the 7.1 million tourist arrival count -- the highest ever in our country’s history, while at the same time championing the cause of an economic activity that can support and transform lives of common Filipinos," Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a statement

"It shows that turning off the faucet when the water is unclear can bring a fresher flow in just an unexpected period of time," she added.

The agency boasts that the country's tourism growth rate has outdone the world average tourism growth and average growth for Asia and the Pacific of 6 percent as identified by the United Nations World Tourism Organization's World Tourism Barometer.

Among the "alternative destinations" for tourists during Boracay's half-year rehabilitation closure were Siargao, Iloilo, Palawan, La Union, Romblon, and Siquijor.

Consistent as the country's top source market is South Korea with 1,587,959, followed by China with 1,255,258, and the United States that recorded 1,034,396 arrivals.

Meanwhile, Japan and Australia wound up the top five markets with 631,801, and 279,821 arrivals, respectively.

Most of the foreign visitors arrived in December and January 2018, the DOT said.

The agency seeks to continue its shift from "mass tourism" to "high-value tourism" to attract more guests, and preserve the environment at the same time, Puyat said.

"[We will] prioritize quality over mere quantity," she said.

"We are now in a time in need of vigilance - a dedication to the principle of a sustainable and inclusive tourism industry,” she said.

/ ABS-CBN News | PNA
Philippines records 'all-time high' 7.1M tourist arrivals in 2018 Philippines records 'all-time high' 7.1M tourist arrivals in 2018 Reviewed by ­ on January 25, 2019 Rating: 5