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Chinese tourist arrivals to Philippines surge in first 2 months this year

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-03-22 14:22
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People walk on the beach on Boracay Island in the Philippines, Nov 9, 2015. [Photo/VCG]

MANILA - Chinese tourist arrivals to the Philippines continued to surge during the first two months of this year, jumping 56 percent in January and February, the Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) has said.

Latest data showed that 256,880 Chinese tourists visited the Philippines during the first two months, making China "the most improved market at an impressive 56.44 percent growth rate," the department said on Wednesday.

"The warming relations between the Philippines and China plus the Chinese New Year seven-day holiday strengthen the platform for us to jumpstart our campaign of achieving 1.5 million Chinese arrivals for this year," Philippine Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said.

Teo said the Philippine tourism industry continued its growth trend in February breaking yet another record as shown by the latest data on international tourist arrivals.

For February, she said a total of 673,831 tourists visited the Philippines mainly due to the influx of Chinese tourists. Chinese tourists accounted for 21.6 percent of the total arrivals at 145,536 in February alone.

The DOT recorded a total of 111,344 Chinese tourists who visited the Philippines in January this year, or a 29.55 percent increase from the same period last year.

Teo said the latest figures brought to a total of 1.4 million international visitors for January-February, which is 16.15 percent higher compared to the total for the same period in 2017.

South Korea remained the Philippines' top source of tourists with 354,700 recorded in February. The United States came in third, followed by Japan and Australia.

"The record-breaking Chinese arrivals to the Philippines is a testament that we've become one of the top destinations for the Chinese market," Teo said.

A total of 968,447 Chinese tourists visited the Philippines in 2017, making China the second largest source of tourists last year.

The Philippines is aiming to attract 1.5 million Chinese tourists to visit the archipelagic Southeast Asian country this year.

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