Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Albert Lim expressed joy and satisfaction on Thursday when he received positive reports from the department’s marketing and plans and promotions divisions.
DOT Secretary Alberto Lim
The report said in 2010, inbound tourists to the Philippines reached 3.52 million, thereby, surpassing the 3.3 million earlier set by the department.
“The assumption of a new administration in July ushered in a renewed spirit and confidence in the Philippines as a tourist destination. This has pumped up growth in the second half of 2010 at 21.2 percent than the first semester’s increase at 12.2 percent,” said Lim.
Tourists spent more for shopping (27 per cent), food and beverage (26.8 per cent), accommodation (23 per cent) and entertainment/recreation (16 per cent).
The East Asia region accounted for 44.4 percent of the total visitor count in 2010 with Korea having the biggest share at 21 percent or 740,622 arrivals.
This market grew by a hefty 48.7 percent vis-à-vis its 2009 volume of 497,936 arrivals, thereby, regaining its number one position among the major source markets.
The United States ranked as the second main source market with 600,165 visitors for a share of 17 percent of total tourist traffic.
Taiwan and Japan, which in the past years posted declines in arrivals, have rebounded with double digit growth of 39.2 percent and 10.3 percent, respectively.
The improved economic condition in these countries or markets boosted their outbound traffic and significantly contributed to sustaining the monthly increase in tourists count to the Philippines in 2010.
Travellers from China and Hong Kong posted 20.9 posted and 8.9 percent increases, respectively, with the month of December demonstrating a positive growth in visitor count following the decline in September on account of the August Luneta hostage tragedy.
This market is anticipated to continue growing as the DOT undertakes aggressive marketing and promotions to regain and re-establish confidence in the Philippines as a safe and secure tourist destination.
Visitors from Australia recorded an all time high of 147,469 arrivals during the year, thus, making it the fifth source market with 11.4 percent growth rate and one of the fastest growing.
This market is expected to yield more as JetStar Air commences flights between Darwin and Clark in 2011.
Inbound tourists from the ASEAN region accounted for 8.4 percent of the total visitor count during the year. This region grew faster at 16.7 percent or 298,176 visitors, with Singapore (121,083 arrivals) and Malaysia (79,694 arrivals) having the biggest turn-out of tourists.
The growth in visitor arrivals from Vietnam remained robust at 29.2 percent. Expansion of tourist traffic from this region is anticipated with the implementation of the Multi-lateral Agreement on Full Liberalization of Passenger Air Services in ASEAN, signed in November 2010.
Likewise, most European markets recorded double digit gain in 2010 with the Russian Federation growing faster at 33.6 percent followed by the Scandinavian countries (12 percent), France (11 percent), United Kingdom (6.5 percent), and Germany (5 percent).
For the Middle East region, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia remained the key source markets as visitor arrivals grew by 21.4 percent and 16.3 percent, respectively.
Arrivals from Qatar and Bahrain exhibited significant growth at 15.2 percent and 10.6 percent, respectively.
On a monthly basis, December recorded the highest number of tourists at 393,585.
Growth rate during this month at 26 percent is deemed impressive with the heavy turn-out of arrivals from East Asia and the Pacific, as well as the Middle East.
Similarly, December arrivals of Overseas Filipinos increased by 24.9 against that of the previous year.
Overall, December accounted for 11 percent of the total tourist count during the year. This is followed by the months of July and March for 9 percent and 8.8 percent shares, respectively.
Visitor receipts grew by 11.3 per cent to US$ 2.49 or Php 112.55 billion over the 2009 receipts of US$ 2.23 (Php 106.38 billion).
This feat is brought by the increase in visitor average daily expenditure by 10.8 percent to US$ 83.93 while average length of stay remained at eight nights.
Per capita expenditure of visitor in 2010 was recorded at US$ 672.28.