Visitor arrivals for the first three months of 2012 aggregated to 1,148,072 registering a 16.03% increase over last year’s arrivals of 989,501. This augurs well for the tourism industry as consistent double-digit growth rates were recorded from January to March. The month of January provided the highest growth rate and the biggest visitor volume (411,064) while setting a new record for the tourism industry as the first time with more than 400,000 visitors registered in a single month. The first quarter of the year likewise continue to set a trend as visitor arrivals breached more than 1 million mark.
The Korean market contributed the biggest share, as it accounted for 23.08% with 265,031 arrivals. This market grew by 16.04%. Visitors from the U.S.A. comprised the second biggest market numbering 179,561 with share of 15.64% to total visitor volume. This market expanded by 6.35% compared to its output of 168,847 arrivals a year ago. The Japanese market contributed the third biggest arrivals of 104,558 comprising 9.11% of the total inbound traffic. This market recorded a growth of 3.85% versus its corresponding arrivals of 100,681 for the same months in 2011. China continued to position itself in the top five markets of the country by producing 96,455 visitors for a share of 8.40% to total visitor volume. This market recorded an impressive 77.53% growth vis-à-vis its volume of 54,332 for the same quarter in 2011. Arrivals from Taiwan summed up to 57,745 which is 5.03% of the total Philippine visitors. This market registered a double-digit increase of 37.49% when compared to its 42,000 arrivals last year.
By regional grouping, the East Asian region maintained its position as the biggest contributor of arrivals, accounting for 48.28% of the overall traffic. This region posted an increase of 21.81% from its 455,045 arrivals a year ago to more than half a million visitors (554,275 arrivals) this year. The combined total of 216,503 arrivals supplied by the North American countries made this region the second biggest source market for the country. It grew by 6.67% versus its production of 202, 964 arrivals the previous year. The ASEAN region provided the third biggest arrivals of 88,627, constituting 7.72% of the total and grew by 12.84% against its arrivals of 78,541 a year ago.