MANILA – Tourist arrivals from China has surpassed visitors from the United States of America and Japan last year.
Tourism Undersecretary Rolando Canizal said the Chinese tourists numbered 968,447 with a growth of 43% from 2016 figures.
“It was indeed a big leap for this market, which in 2015 was only ranked number 4 with 490,841 arrivals,” Mr. Canizal said in his speech before the Philippine Travel Agencies Association’s export gala at Conrad Hotel, Pasay City.
He attributed the growth to many charter flights from various Chinese cities to secondary gateways including Cebu, Clark and Kalibo. Chartered flights will also be launched in Puerto Princesa in Palawan province.
“Our success in China is similar to the story of how the country has stimulated growth in the Korean market, which in 2017 reached 1.5 million arrivals,” he further said. He added Korea remains the biggest source with a market share of 24% of the total inbound traffic.
India is now on the top 12 markets with 107,278 visitors with the market growing on month-on-month, with 18% increment in 2017.
Undersecretary Canizal said air connectivity to the country is very vital to lure more tourists and allow more Filipinos to travel abroad. Citing Department of Tourism data, he said 99% of international visitors arrived by air.
“It is imperative that our aviation policy must be able to accommodate the growing demand for inbound and outbound tourism,” he further said.
Mr. Canizal said the country’s airport infrastructure must alone cope not only in terms of expanding terminal capacity but must include runway efficiency and turn-around to yield higher return for the expected growth of both inbound and outbound traffic. (Melo M. Acuna)
“Courtesy of Bicol Times”