Today's Punto
Today's Punto
S. Koreans remain Phl’s top tourists
By Ding Cervantes

Jun 13, 2017

CLARK FREEPORT -- The Department of Tourism (DOT) has reported that foreign tourist arrivals breached the one-million mark in this year’s first quarter, as its official dismissed speculations that threat from North Korea has made South Koreans outnumber other nationals during the period.

“I have talked with tourists from South Korea and there are no indication they are on flight in fear of the north. They seem confident of their capability to defend themselves and are used to the threat from the north,” said DOT assistant secretary for public affairs Frederick Alegre in a forum with the Capampangans in Media Inc. (CAMI) here.

He noted that in the first quarter, South Koreans comprise 24.70 percent of foreign tourists with 440,865 arrivals. Tourists from US were next, numbering 258,097, while Chinese tourists were third, posting 240,354 arrivals. The Chinese, however, posted the biggest growth in numbers of about 30.26 percent more than those who visited the country in the first quarter last year.

Alegre noted that Japanese tourists came fourth with 166,251 arrivals and Australia with 66,807.

He said the DOT is “optimistic that the upward growth of the country’s international tourist arrivals registered at 11.40 percent for the first quarter of 2017, will likely continue throughout the year as it anticipates over P600-billion investments in infrastructure alongside aggressive marketing efforts, and with the heightened security all over the country.”

Alegre quoted Tourism Sec. Wanda Tulfo-Teo as saying that the Philippines has remained a perennial destination for tourists, with international arrivals breaching the million mark as early as March of this year.

He said “a total of 1,784,882 visitors have come to the country in the first three months as we continue with our efforts to increase the country’s capacity under the National Tourism Development Plan 2017-2022.”

Alegre noted “the government’s allocation of P677 billion for the Medium- Term Tourism Infrastructure Program” noting that “a total of P184.5 billion will be spent on tourism roads under its convergence program to improve land-based travel with the Department of Public Works and Highways.”

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