A January 23, 2013 press release from the Department of Tourism
The Philippines welcomed a total of 4,272,811 foreign visitors in 2012, posting a 9.07% increase from 3,917,454 visitors in 2011. This marks the first time in the country’s tourism history to surpass the 4 million visitor arrival mark.
South Korea set a new all-time high by supplying a total of 1,031,155 visitors or 24.13% of the total visitor volume to the Philippines. Registering 11.45% growth from 2012, South Korea remains the biggest market and the first to contribute one million visitors.
The United States of America came in second with 625,626 visitors, equivalent to a 15.27% share. Japan ranked third with 412,474 visitors or 9.65% of the total inbound traffic.
Other markets consistently providing significant volume and positive growth are China with 250,883 arrivals (5.87%), Taiwan with 216,511 (5.07%), Australia with 191,150 (4.47%), Singapore with 148,215 (3.47%), Canada with 123,699 (2.90%), Hongkong with 118,666 (2.78%), Malaysia with 114,513 (2.68%), United Kingdom with 113,282 (2.65%), and Germany with 67,023 (1.57%). Overseas Filipinos supplied 5.05% to the total tourist traffic at 215,943 arrivals, exhibiting a steady growth rate of 4.24%.
“Crossing the 4-million mark is a feat in itself and puts us well on track to achieve our ultimate goal of 10 million visitor arrivals by 2016,” Tourism Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez enthused.
Three significant source markets have also surpassed their respective target arrivals for the year in review. Japan’s actual visitor arrival output of 412,474 is 3.86% higher than its target of 397,141. Taiwan surpassed 10.46% by registering 216,511 arrivals. Russia, an emerging market, yielded 22.12% more than its target of 23,149 arrivals.
The country achieved 93.8% of its 4,556,582 visitor arrival goal for 2012. Some shortfalls were felt due to economic and political pressures from traditional markets such as US, Europe, and China. However despite a few bumps in the road, all key source markets still registered positive growth for the year.
Tourism Secretary Jimenez shared, “It is going to become increasingly challenging to meet future targets. But we know that Filipinos are the biggest believers of our slogan, It’s more fun in the Philippines. We remain confident and will continue to build on the positive energies in order to cross the 5-million milestone in 2013.”
“The thrust of our marketing in 2013 is market development, which entails expanding the potential market for new users and new uses. We will look into segments that we have not thoroughly explored. We will explore more creative executions geared towards sustaining the fun we have started. We hope to have stronger representation and be part of the future of tourism in Asia,” beamed Secretary Jimenez.