For the first half of 2019, a total of 4,133,050 international tourists have visited the Philippines, marking an 11.43 percent increase from last year’s figures, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT).

“We have already breached the 4 million mark within the first 6 months of the year. Seven years ago, it took the entire year to reach 4 million tourists. The Philippine tourism industry has indeed come a long way with better and increased connectivity. New, rehabilitated and expanded airports have contributed much to this growth,” said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.

“By promoting our lesser-known but emerging destinations, we have attracted a large yet diverse set of foreign travelers.”

“By expanding our portfolio of tourism products and by developing and promoting our lesser-known but emerging destinations, we have attracted a large yet diverse set of foreign travelers and have sustained our growth in the highly-competitive South East Asian region,” Romulo-Puyat added.

For the month of June 2019, tourist arrivals reached a growth rate of 21.41 percent at 643,780 arrivals versus the 530,267 in June 2018.

South Korea continues to be the top source market, with China coming in at second. The United States ranks third, followed by Japan and then Taiwan, winding up the top five source markets.

The DOT also welcomed the decision of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to lift its public notice on travel to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) following the “significant improvements” in the airport’s security operations.

“We can expect more travelers from the US to visit the Philippines in the coming months.” 

“With the recent development of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to rescind its Public Advisory on security issues at NAIA, we can expect more travelers from the US to visit the Philippines in the coming months,” the tourism chief said.

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