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Who are the Philippines’ top tourism markets?

Over a quarter of a million Koreans flew to the Philippines between January and February 2015, making South Korea our country’s top tourism market. That’s a rate of three in every 10 foreign visitors.

This is based on a report from the Tourism Department’s research and statistics office released Friday. Data gathered from the first two months of the year also shows a steady annual growth rate in terms of total earnings gained from tourism activities. In February, visitor receipts were estimated to have reached Php 19.35 billion, or 4.25 percent higher than the same month last year. On average, an international visitor spent around Php 4,150 daily.

“For the month in review, visitors from Korea provided the highest contribution with Php 7.36 billion, while the second biggest spent was recorded by visitors from the United States of America with Php 3.01 billion. This was followed by Japan with Php 913.33 million and Canada (Php 857.53 million). Australia with Php 836.43 million provided the 5th biggest visitor receipts for the month,” the report says.

According to the DoT, international visitors also tend to stay in the country longer this year than in 2014. Average Length of Stay for the period was registered at 10.4 nights versus last year’s 10.25 nights.

In February 2015, the country welcomed 456,524 visitors, which is 8.02 percent higher than the February 2014 arrivals of 422,631 (and more than 40 percent more than figures from 2011). The DoT considers this a massive success, considering that “the increase was achieved despite the fact that the Chinese New Year in 2014 was celebrated in February, hence, this month’s volume is coming from a big base in 2014.”

East Asian markets are credited as top contributors to the growth. All territories in the region, except for China, recorded double digit gains: Hong Kong (37.58 percent), Taiwan 924.91 percent), Macau (22.00 percent), Korea (18.23 percent), and Japan (12.62 percent). Meanwhile, the number of mainland Chinese visitors declined by 15.5 percent.

 “Countries from North America produced a combined growth rate of 7.55 percent with USA recording a growth of 7.21 percent while Canada registered a growth of 8.71 percent. On the other hand, Mexico recorded a 52.60 percent increase,” the researchers add.

In descending order, the top 10 countries of origin in February are South Korea with 268,381 entries, the US (142,226 entries), Japan (83,489), China (62,976), Australia (40,906), Canada (31,068), Singapore (27,274), Taiwan (27,002), Malaysia (23,444), and the United Kingdom (23,341).

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