Philippines breaks tourist arrival record with 8.26 million in 2019

Philippines tourist arrival record
The Department of Tourism announces 2019 as having exceeded its annual target. Photo from DOT..

The Philippines has broken its records for foreign tourist arrivals and surpassed its targets with a total of 8.26 million visitors coming to the islands in 2019.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) announced its good news on February 17, 2020, saying that it has exceeded the 8.2 million annual target set in the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) for 2016-2022.

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The DOT year-end visitor arrival report indicates a growth of 15.24 % compared to 2018’s year-end numbers at 7.16 million.

Almost all months, except January, registered double digit growth rates, the largest of which was August at 27.54 percent while December recorded the highest volume at 776,798.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat credited the positive growth to several factors including convergence programs with government agencies to improve access to the country’s tourist destinations and product development and marketing initiatives with local government and the private sector.

“This heralds a new milestone in the country’s tourism history, breaching the eight millionth mark… These gains we hope to sustain even as we face global challenges,” said Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.

DOT launched its refreshed branding campaign in 2019, continuing the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” slogan but repurposing it to advocate for sustainable tourism.

To complement the new direction towards sustainable tourism, the DOT launched a movement called “Save Our Spots” to call for each individual to be a responsible tourist and encouraging the same behavior towards others to preserve the country’s natural and man-made wonders.

The Philippine tourism industry also received a number of international awards and recognitions in 2019 such as the World’s Leading Dive Destination at the 2019 World Travel Awards, Asia’s Leading Tourism Board at the 2019 World Travel Awards and Excellent Partner Award (for Sustainable Efforts in Boracay, among others.

“This is a high point for Philippine tourism as it depicts our solidarity and commitment to make tourism work and prove its full potential as a sustainable and inclusive economic activity. The record-breaking numbers solidify the effectiveness of the Tourism Act of 2009, which celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2019.” Secretary Puyat added.

Here are the 12 top sources of foreign tourist arrivals for 2019:

  1. Korea with 1.98 million arrivals
  2. China with 1.74 million arrivals
  3. USA with 1.06 million arrivals
  4. Japan with 682,788 arrivals
  5. Taiwan with 327,273 arrivals
  6. Australia with 286,170 arrivals
  7. Canada with 238,850 arrivals
  8. United Kingdom with 209,206 arrivals
  9. Singapore with 158,595 arrivals
  10. Malaysia with 139,882 arrivals
  11. India with 134,963 arrivals
  12. Germany with 103,756 arrivals

SEND CHEERS to the tourism industry for making 2019 a record-breaking year!

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Angie is a self-confessed reformed news critic who vows she has finally found infinite value in delivering the good news. She teaches students of all ages how to make the important interesting for audiences across media platforms.